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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.


Guide to Exploring Auckland War Memorial Museum


Map

Top Auckland War Memorial Museum Hotel & Accommodation Deals

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The Grand by SkyCity NZ$219
The Grand by SkyCity

The Grand by SkyCity

90 Federal Street, Auckland
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Auckland Central Business District, this luxury hotel is steps away from Sky Tower and SkyCity Casino. Auckland Ferry Terminal and University of Auckland are also within 15 minutes. Auckland Britomart Station is 12 minutes by foot.

    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 City Hospital and The Civic 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$135
      Auckland Harbour Suites

      Auckland Harbour Suites

      16 Gore Street, Auckland
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in the heart of Auckland, this apartment building is within walking distance of Britomart Transport Centre, Auckland Ferry Terminal and Queen Street Shopping District. Also nearby are Sky Tower and Princes Wharf.

        Avani Auckland Metropolis Residences NZ$165
        Avani Auckland Metropolis Residences

        Avani Auckland Metropolis Residences

        40 Kitchener Street, Auckland
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Auckland Central Business District, this luxury apartment building is steps away from High Street and Queen Street Shopping District.

          Pullman Auckland Hotel & Apartments NZ$219
          Pullman Auckland Hotel & Apartments

          Pullman Auckland Hotel & Apartments

          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, Auckland Ferry Terminal and University of Auckland. Queen Street Shopping District and The Civic are also within 10 minutes. Auckland Britomart Station is 7 minutes by foot and Auckland Grafton Station is 30 minutes.

            Alpers Lodge & Conference Centre NZ$90
            Alpers Lodge & Conference Centre

            Alpers Lodge & Conference Centre

            16 Alpers Avenue, Newmarket, Auckland
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Auckland, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Eden Garden and Mt. Eden. Auckland War Memorial Museum and Auckland City Hospital are also within 2 miles (3 km). Auckland Newmarket Station is 12 minutes by foot and Auckland Remuera Station is 17 minutes.

              SkyCity Hotel NZ$202
              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 Aotea Centre are also within 10 minutes. Auckland Britomart Station is 12 minutes by foot.

                Gorgeous Parnell Villa, entire second level.
                Gorgeous Parnell Villa, entire second level.

                Gorgeous Parnell Villa, entire second level.

                25 Birdwood Cres, Auckland, Auckland Region
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Parnell, this holiday home is within a 15-minute walk of Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland War Memorial Museum and Auckland Domain. Spark Arena and University of Auckland are also within 1 mile (2 km). Auckland Newmarket Station is 17 minutes by foot and Auckland Grafton Station is 23 minutes.