Best Auckland Museums
Come and explore the history and culture of our beautiful country New Zealand by visiting one of our world-class museums. Pop in for an hour or two or turn it into a half day excursion ending with a relaxing picnic at one of Auckland's many picturesque spots. Challenge yourself and discover the process that made New Zealand what it is today. These are our top three Museums in Auckland, all within walking distance of the city centre.
Auckland Art Gallery
The Auckland Art Gallery or Toi O Tamaki means ‘our treasure house’.
The Auckland Art Gallery is regarded as the world home or wharenui of New Zealand art. This superbly designed gallery views itself as custodians or kaitiaki of the art in their care.
Home to around 20,000 pieces of art going back around 700 years but only 800 pieces are normally displayed. Works of famous New Zealand artists like Charles Goldie, Ralph Hotere and Colin McCahon are on public display instead of hidden away in private homes or personal vaults.
One of only two Picassos in New Zealand resides on the walls of the Auckland Art Gallery. The other Picasso is in Dunedin. Painted during the Nazi occupation of Paris in 1944, ‘Verre et Pichet’, a still-life of a table setting (sans food) isn’t regarded as one of Picasso’s best works but it does symbolize the dark years of deprivation experienced during the Second World War.
The Gallery runs one hour tours daily (except Xmas Day) at 11.30am and 1.30pm at a very reasonable charge of $10.
Find out more about the Auckland Art Gallery here
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Delve into the stories and the history behind our beautiful home - Aotearoa. Housed in one of Auckland's most iconic buildings, the neo-classical style sits blissfully atop the grassy remnants of a dormant volcano. Come and learn about a range of topics from New Zealand geology to Maori culture and our war history. Decorative arts and pictorial collections also have a prominent feature in this museum.
This museum has served as a place of remembrance since 1929 for those who sacrificed their lives for war. A powerful and informative collection of war memorials will interest any budding historian.
Explore and be apart of the Maori culture and join a guided tour that includes a culture performance by the local iwi/tribe Ngati Whatau. An engaging, thrilling version of the world-famous Haka, followed by a meet and greet will cost only $20 for an adult.
The Auckland Museum is daily from 10am - 5pm (except Xmas Day) and will cost international adult visitors $25. A superb day trip, ending with a picnic in tranquil Auckland Domain overlooking stunning views of the harbour.
Find out more about the Auckland War Memorial here
Auckland Maritime Museum
Set sail and discover the stories that helped to shape our nautical nation.
Explore New Zealand’s largest maritime collection and be transported by stories of epic voyages. Visit the Landfalls exhibition detailing the pioneering voyages that shaped the early history of New Zealand settlements.
New Beginnings where you will meet the immigrants that braved our rough oceans to thrive on our hostile land.
Or visit a tribute to one of our most recognised New Zealanders - Sir Peter Blake. The exhibition Blue Water, Black Magic explores the history of Americas Cup and New Zealand’s exceptional yachting success.
Get hands on and hoist the sails, batten down the hatches, work on your yacht designing skills and hear the cannon sound. Take your relationship with the sea a step further and set sail with the Museum’s fully restored heritage scow (named Ted Ashby). This one-hour voyage of Auckland harbour will provide you with spectacular views of the Harbour Bridge and our great “city of sails”.
The Ted Ashby sets sail six days a week (Tuesday - Sunday) and will cost $53 (Children: $27) which includes entrance to the Museum. If you don’t feel like braving the windy Waitemata Harbour entrance to the Museum will only cost $20.
Find out more about the Auckland Maritime Museum here
Join us on a private Aucky Walky tour and we’ll include a short visit to one of these Museums - the choice is yours!. We know where the best art and culture can be found and enjoyed in the central city.
References: Repurposed from Auckland Maritime Museum, Auckland War Memorial Museum and the Auckland Art Gallery website.