Being in New Zealand, I wanted to know the history of the country and its people. Therefore, the best place for me to gather such information is none other than the Auckland War Memorial Museum, also known as the Auckland Museum. 🙂
The Auckland War Memorial Museum happens to be New Zealand’s first museum and is considered as one of the country’s finest heritage buildings. It is also a war memorial and holds one of New Zealand’s top three heritage libraries.
Getting to the Auckland War Memorial Museum
It is easy to get to the Auckland War Memorial Museum on foot, by car or public transport. The museum is a 30-minute walk and a 10-minute drive from the city centre. By train, the museum is a 10-minute walk from Grafton Station (Western line) and 15 minutes from Newmarket Station (Western/Southern lines).
By bus, the LINK Bus stops on nearby Parnell Road whereas the Explorer Hop On Hop Off Bus stops outside the Museum every 60 minutes (30 minutes from October – March).
To save money, I walked to the Auckland War Memorial Museum from my hostel using Google Maps as my guide. The journey took me about 30 minutes through the city centre, Albert Park, the University of Auckland and Auckland Domain. 😀
Opening Hours & Admission Tickets
The Auckland War Memorial Museum is open daily from 10am – 5pm. The only day it closes is on Christmas Day. Admission to the Auckland War Memorial Museum is free to all Auckland residents with a MyMuseum card or with a proof of residence. Simply bring along a proof of residence (a recent power bill, phone bill, rates notification, library card, etc and ID when visiting and present it to the staff at the counter. The rest of the New Zealand residents gain entry into the museum by making a donation of any amount they are willing to give.
As for international visitors, an adult ticket is priced at $25 per person, a child (6-14 years) ticket is $10 per child, and a family ticket (2 adults and up to 4 children) is priced at $60 per family. Children below 5 years of age enter for free.
Visitors can purchase the tickets at the information/ticket counter located at the Grand Foyer. There, I met a friendly staff who requested for my passport for ID. Upon knowing that I am on a Working Holiday visa and that I am currently staying in Auckland, New Zealand (I have with me an official letter from my hostel as proof of address at that time), she granted me free entry into the museum (to my surprise!) provided that I make a small donation to the museum of any amount that I could afford. 😀
That act of kindness made me happy and in return, I donated $10 to the museum and gained free entry into the museum. For more information about Auckland War Memorial Museum, kindly visit its official website here.
Of Priceless Maori Treasures, Natural History Wonders & War Memorial Galleries
With my ticket in hand, I eagerly made my way through the entrance and began exploring the museum. In general, the Auckland War Memorial Museum exhibits are divided into several galleries located on different floors and sections of the building:
- Ground Floor (People) – Grand Foyer, Landmarks, Encounter, Wild Child, Pacific Lifeways & Pacific Masterpieces, Maori Court, Atrium and Music (The Castle Collection)
- First Floor (Land) – Maori natural history, Origins, Land, Volcanoes, Ancient Worlds, The Mackelvie Collection, Weird & Wonderful, Arts of Asia, and The Russell statues
- Top Floor (War) – Auditorium, Colours Gallery, Holocaust Gallery, Museum Library, Scars on the Heart, Spitfire, World War One Hall of Memories, World War Two Hall of Memories, and Zero
The Maori Galleries that contain over 1,000 artefacts from around Aotearoa dating back to the arrival and settlement of Māori gave me an insightful look into the culture, tradition and life of the indigenous people of New Zealand. There are also life-sized replica of dinosaur skeletons, a giant Moa and Kiwi on display in the Natural History Galleries.
However, it was the War Memorial Galleries that made a lasting impression on me. It showed me the devastating effects and cost of war, and how it affects our lives. 🙁
In a Nutshell
Visiting the Auckland War Memorial Museum should be on the list of every visitor to Auckland, New Zealand. I am proud to say that my general knowledge has expanded since my visit to the Auckland Museum. It certainly was a worthwhile experience and I am glad I spent some precious time there.
Up next: Umi & Umiya Sushi – my favourite place for cheap, filling and tasty meals in Auckland! 😉