Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland Domain

The Auckland Museum is packed full of good stuff. Obviously there is a huge, beautiful Marae (pronounced: Moorai) and lots of engaging Maori artifacts.

The bottom floor is dedicated to the people of the pacific (those indigenous to Hawaii, Easter Island and New Zealand.)

The second floor is dedicated to the natural history of the area (oceans, costal areas geological history, biology.) There are some really fun things on this floor like live lizard/bug exhibits, interactive microscope displays and lots of taxidermy. There is also a exhibit for the New Zealand Maori team which has a great video teaching about the huge importance of Ruby in New Zealand.

The third floor is dedicated to New Zealand wars. There are heaps of interesting videos explaining past conflicts and displaying weaponry. You can learn about New Zealand’s participation in the Boer War, imperial war inside New Zealand, WWI, WWII and others. there are beautiful memorials of WWII and armory displays from the old days.

Bottom line, this museum has something for everyone. There are heaps of things to see and do there so set aside a few hours. The place is so packed with interesting exhibits and artifacts that one can easily become overwhelmed with all the information.

If you do get overwhelmed, just go for a stroll. There are beautiful nature walks throughout the domain. It’s very pleasant to just meander around and enjoyed a pause from the hustle of the city.

Make sure to visit the winter garden. There they grow some amazing plants on display in a beautiful old brick and glass building. It’s the most relaxing place I’ve visited in Auckland and I sincerely recommend it.

Budget tip:

Before you go to the Museum, go to the library with a printout of letterhead that says you live in Auckland. You could use a credit card statement or anything really. Just photoshop an Auckland address into the address bar. This takes about 10 minutes of your time and you can get an Auckland library card. With a library card you can rent books, but more importantly, you can visit the Museum for free.

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