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Auckland War Memorial Museum

Despite what you might think, there's more to this museum than guns and warplanes (though those are pretty impressive too).

Originally built in 1929 in memory of the soldiers who died in World War I, the Auckland War Memorial Museum is housed in a Greco-Roman style building on the grounds of the Auckland Domain. As well as its wealth of military history and artefacts, it also boasts numerous impressive displays on the subjects of Maori culture and craftwork.

As you approach the building – widely considered to be one of New Zealand's finest heritage buildings – you will see a frieze depicting scenes from World Wars I and II. You will also notice a poppy motif on the bronze entrance doors, a theme which is repeated throughout the museum building.

In pride of place amidst the museum's permanent and temporary exhibitions are the honour rolls listing the names of the war dead. The Scars of the Heart exhibit puts a human face on these names, with personal stories, letters and photographs from those who served, while the immensity of the technology used at the time is succinctly conveyed by the Spitfire and Japanese Zero warbirds also on display.

Moving away from the war theme, the museum also boasts a wide-ranging display on Maori culture. This section of the building is home to numerous taonga (or "treasures") such as a traditional meeting house, a war canoe and one of the earliest remaining examples of Maori decorative carving. If you can, try to time your visit to coincide with one of the tours that happen each day. Led by Maori performers and guides, these tours offer additional invaluable insight into the Maori culture.

The Natural History section of the Auckland War Memorial Museum has exhibits on everything from insects to amphibians, conveying the sheer range of biodiversity that thrives on the island of New Zealand, while the Applied and Decorative Arts section covers objects as diverse as costumes, clocks and metalwork from New Zealand and abroad.

The Auckland War Memorial Museum is open every day except Christmas Day. Situated in The Domain in the central neighbourhood of Grafton, it's easy to get there by bus, or there's paid parking available at the museum.

Make the most of your time at Auckland War Memorial Museum. Here is a list of the most popular things to do:

Would you like to make your visit a little more unique? An Auckland Museum General Admission Tickets & Guided Tour and a Private Amazing Auckland Sights Express Tour are both worth looking into.

For even more activities, peruse our Auckland things to do page.


Guide to Exploring Auckland War Memorial Museum


Map

Top Auckland War Memorial Museum Hotel & Accommodation Deals

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Grand Millennium Auckland NZ$219
Grand Millennium Auckland

Grand Millennium Auckland

71 Mayoral Drive, Auckland
     
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Auckland Central Business District, this hotel is steps away from Aotea Centre and Auckland Town Hall. Queen Street Shopping District and Sky Tower are also within 10 minutes. Auckland Britomart Station is 17 minutes by foot and Auckland Mt Eden Station is 25 minutes.

    Cordis, Auckland by Langham Hospitality Group NZ$219
    Cordis, Auckland by Langham Hospitality Group

    Cordis, Auckland by Langham Hospitality Group

    83 Symonds Street, Box 2771, Auckland
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Newton, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Karangahape Road and Queen Street Shopping District. Auckland Town Hall and University of Auckland are also within 15 minutes. Auckland Mt Eden Station is 15 minutes by foot and Auckland Grafton Station is 16 minutes.

      Auckland Harbour Suites NZ$170
      Auckland Harbour Suites

      Auckland Harbour Suites

      16 Gore Street, Auckland
         
        4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Auckland Central Business District, this apartment building is within a 5-minute walk of High Street and Queen Street Shopping District. Auckland Ferry Terminal and University of Auckland are also within 10 minutes. Auckland Britomart Station is only a 4-minute walk.

        Heritage Auckland NZ$212
        Heritage Auckland

        Heritage Auckland

        35 Hobson Street, Auckland
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          This family-friendly Auckland hotel is located in the entertainment district, just steps away from SkyCity Casino and Sky Tower. Queen Street Shopping District and Princes Wharf are also within 10 minutes. Auckland Britomart Station is 10 minutes by foot.

          Copthorne Hotel Auckland City NZ$161
          Copthorne Hotel Auckland City

          Copthorne Hotel Auckland City

          150 Anzac Avenue, Auckland
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Auckland Central Business District, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Auckland High Court and University of Auckland. Spark Arena and Queen Street Shopping District are also within 15 minutes. Auckland Britomart Station is 11 minutes by foot and Auckland Grafton Station is 29 minutes.

            SkyCity Hotel NZ$212
            SkyCity Hotel

            SkyCity Hotel

            Corner Victoria and Federal Streets, Auckland
               
              4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Auckland Central Business District, this luxury hotel is steps away from SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre, Sky Tower and SkyCity Casino. Queen Street Shopping District and Auckland Town Hall are also within 10 minutes. Auckland Britomart Station is 12 minutes by foot.

              Pullman Auckland NZ$204
              Pullman Auckland

              Pullman Auckland

              Princes Street And Waterloo Quadrant, Auckland
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                This family-friendly Auckland hotel is located near the bay, within a 10-minute walk of Auckland High Court, University of Auckland and Queen Street Shopping District. Auckland Ferry Terminal and The Civic are also within 10 minutes. Auckland Britomart Station is 7 minutes by foot and Auckland Grafton Station is 30 minutes.

                M Social Auckland NZ$269
                M Social Auckland

                M Social Auckland

                196-200 Quay Street, Auckland
                   
                  4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Auckland Central Business District, this luxury hotel is steps away from Princes Warf Visitor Information Centre, New Zealand National Maritime Museum and Auckland Ferry Terminal. Britomart Transport Centre and Princes Wharf are also within 5 minutes. Auckland Britomart Station is 5 minutes by foot.