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Auckland War Memorial Museum
NileGuide Expert Says:
A great introduction to Maori culture in Auckland.
The Auckland Domain, Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand
NileGuide Expert tip:
The Auckland War Memorial Museum often has wonderful special exhibitions. Ring ahead, check the Nile Guide Local Flavor blog or ask at tourist info to find out what's on when.
Sitting high atop the Auckland Domain is the Auckland War Memorial Museum originally constructed in 1852 and remodeled several times since then. The link to the war is obvious on approach with the names and scenes from some great battles New Zealanders have participated on the building facade and the "court of honor" in the front. However, the museum is more than that, providing the largest collection of Maori and Pacific Island artefacts in New Zealand. There is an original Maori war canoe (waka) from 1830 (the last one used) proudly displayed and numerous other important works. The museum provides a new lesson in what a "donation" really is as there is a little bit of pressure to pay out. It is all in a good cause, of course as you'll see once you enter. There are always rotating exhibitions and the museum has upped its profile internationally in hopes of attracting more important travelling exhibitions. While you're there, check out the Maori cultural performance. It's an entertaining look at New Zealand's first people and their customs (the Haka is always a crowd pleaser).