Results 1-10of 12 Reviews
Scarborough, England, United Kingdom
January 18, 2012
From journal Christmas in New Zealand
auckland, New Zealand
June 11, 2009
August 13, 2007
From journal 2005 Trip to New Zealand
Tacoma, New South Wales, Australia
July 27, 2006
From journal Whangarei and Beyond
London, United Kingdom
April 10, 2005
There is a café and a museum store, and the grounds in the domain surrounding the museum are ideal for picnics on sunny days. The museum sits on the rim of one of Auckland’s many extinct volcanoes, although this is not immediately obvious as you look at it. From the museum steps, you get a splendid view over part of the city and out over the harbour to Devonport and Rangitoto.
The museum itself has become an icon of Auckland. The building dates back to the 1920s, when it was planned as a memorial place to the fallen soldiers of World War I. This is a museum in the grand, old sense of the word, yet it exhibits contemporary and interesting displays as well.
For the kids, there is the concession of the discovery centre on the second floor, which was actually quite entertaining for all the adults that were there on the day I visited! It was interesting seeing a fully operational beehive and trying to find the queen. The cockroach display was pretty disgusting, though. On the top floor, you will find the moving "Scars on the Heart" permanent exhibition about New Zealand's military history, as well as the memorial rooms. Make sure you give the museum a full day. You also might want to time your visit to catch the Maori cultural performance at 11am.
From journal Auckland
Auckland, United Kingdom
October 3, 2002
The ground floor is basically the cultural exhibits, which are excellent for learning more about the islands around New Zealand, and about the inhabitants of this country - it made me feel quite ignorant when I realised how many islands there are, and how much the culture on each one differs - no two are the same, and a lot of people from these islands have made New Zealand their home. A huge part, naturally, is dedicated to the maoris, and you can see typical examples of war canoes and meeting houses - indeed, one of the meeting houses you can go inside, to admire the amazing carving and decorations, and throughout the exhibits there are detailed articles giving insight and understanding to their beliefs, customs, and ways of life.
Taking the stairs up to the next floor, is a huge Natural History exhibition, and the first thing you see is a sprawling display of stuffed animals. Now, stuffed animals have always given me the creeps, but I thought that I might at least get to see a kiwi this way!!
On this floor, there is also a wonderful marine life exhibition, with models of dolphins, whales and the like, complete with 'whale and dolphin tunes' playing in the background.
This floor also houses the environmental exhibition, whose aim it is to demonstrate the bad things happening to this world, and how we can prevent them. It is very interesting, detailing things from global warming, to saving the kiwi. There is also an extensive library which you can use for research.
And lastly, the top floor pays tribute to all those who lost their lives in the war. There is a beautiful stained glass window, and names of soldiers up on plaques. Also, there is an exhibition of the Concentration Camps and the torment the Jews went through in World War II. This is incredibly moving, with tape recordings of speeches from people who actually survived the camps.
And who can forget the coffee shop and gift shop - important aspects of a museum visit! The gift shop, while being a little bit on the expensive side, does have very good quality gifts and souvneirs - no tack here!!! - and some really interesting books about the country, both fact and fiction.
From journal Four seasons in Auckland
July 16, 2002
The builing itself is beautiful and set in the green fields of the Domain. Inside, the musuem has a variety of New Zealand/Pacific cultural displays. The Pacific masks and spirit figures are seriously freaky.
The Maori cultural show costs a bit extra but is worth seeing. They demonstrate traditional songs, dances and fighting and the group sticks around afterwards to explain the Maori exhibits and answer questions. Maori culture is an integral part of New Zealand and the displays help you understand some of its aspects.
The War memorial exhibit on the top floor is moving, demonstrating the involvement of the Kiwi troups in the World Wars. And check out any temporary exhibitions, you never know what they may have. I saw the 'Body Art' exhibition, all about piercing, tattooing, scarfication, corsetry .... interesting, very interesting.
The musuem's cafe does good food and if you visit on a nice day take a wander around the Domain before you leave. There's a sculpture garden, fragrance garden and the Winter Gardens (two giant conservatories) are quite impressive. The Fern garden is pretty dark and shady, a good place to rest on a hot summer's day. And if you time your visit right, catch a free summer concert in the bandstand on Sunday afternoons.
From journal Auckland - the sights, the shops and the bars
Warwick, United Kingdom
May 10, 2002
However, once there, there is plenty to see. The ground floor is dedicated Maori history and culture including a Maori house, a 25 m canoe and Maori dancers.
The first floor is all natural history, see how penguins have evolved over time, see the real life lizards and wetas. There are lots of hands on activities on this floor.
The second floor had a 1st world war bunker display amongst other things.
There is a good book/gift shop and a cafe.
From journal Auckland - The highlights
Williams Lake, British Columbia
December 16, 2001
The section of most interest and fun to us was the section on the Maoris, the natives who were the first to live in New Zealand. New Zealand is overrun with Maori tourist exhibits and once you have seen a few, you may lose interest but this is an excellent exhibit to familiarize yourself with the native history.
We also strongly recommend spending the extra $5NZ to see the 1/2 hour Maori performance of singing and dancing after which you get a chance to talk to the performers and ask questions. For rugby fans they perform the "Haka" which is the chant the New Zealand Allblacks perform at the start of each game. When I asked one of the performers if this was what they had done he answered, "Yes, only we do it better!" They will be happy to explain all of the displays to you which greatly increases your ability to understand the displays. The exhibits include an 82 foot war canoe, a large meeting house, historical weapons etc.
The third area is a natural history museum relating to New Zealand. This is actually quite interesting as New Zealand had no animal life other than birds and insects until the English colonists arrived. The English brought cattle, sheep, rabbits, possums, dogs, cats, etc. Accordingly New Zealand has no predatory animals and thus the rabbits and possums grew wildly to the extent that the possums have been subject to eradication projects. New Zealand is home to large numbers and varieties of birds.
From journal 5 days in Auckland, New Zealand
Nagano, New Zealand
July 12, 2001
Inside, on the ground floor are the main attractions for most foreign visitors: the Maori and Polynesian exhibits. There are Maori shows three times daily (extra charge) but it would be better to see a show in Rotorua. On the other floors there are many different exhibits some of which change from time to time.
The domain is home to the Wintergarden greenhouse which houses tropical and temperate plants. There is a duck pond nearby that is popular with families. There are many outdoor concerts and events (such as Christmas in the Park, a carol singing event) that are held in the wide crater in the domain. The crater is also used for cricket, soccer and rugby games year round.
From journal Auckland - The City of Sails