The best museums in New Zealand in December 2023

These are the top 100 best museums in New Zealand, ranked by their rating and popularity in 2023. Click a museum for more information about the museum, including visitor information, exhibitions and reviews.

For a complete overview of museums in New Zealand, their exhibitions and discount cards & passes, see our overview page with all museums in New Zealand.

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Looking for the best museums in New Zealand? These are the best ones:

  1. The Wētā Cave1

    The Wētā Cave

    Place where extraordinary things happen! This workshop creates facilities for Hollywood movies such as Avatar, Lord of the Rings or King Kong.
  2. SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's2

    SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's

    Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium (formerly Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World) is a public aquarium in Auckland , New Zealand, that was opened in 1985. Located at 23 Tamaki Drive, it was the brainchild of New Zealand marine archaeologist and diver Kelly Tarlton (1937–1985). Built in disused sewage s
  3. Okains Bay Museum3

    Okains Bay Museum

    Okains Bay
  4. Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tāmaki4

    Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tāmaki

    Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is the principal public gallery in Auckland , New Zealand. It has the most extensive collection of national and international art in New Zealand and frequently hosts travelling international exhibitions. Set below the hilltop Albert Park in the central-city area of
  5. International Antarctic Centre5

    International Antarctic Centre

    The International Antarctic Centre is a research centre and public science discovery centre in the suburb of Harewood , Christchurch , New Zealand, near Christchurch International Airport .
  6. Auckland Zoo6

    Auckland Zoo

    Auckland Zoo is a 16.35-hectare (40-acre) zoological garden in Auckland , New Zealand , situated next to Western Springs park not far from Auckland 's central business district . It is run by the Auckland Council with the Zoological Society of Auckland as a supporting organisation. Auckland Zoo open
  7. Auckland War Memorial Museum7

    Auckland War Memorial Museum

    The Auckland War Memorial Museum, also known as Auckland Museum, is the largest cultural and natural history museum in Auckland, New Zealand. It is a significant cultural monument and is classified by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust as a top-tier cultural heritage site. The museum was founded in 1852, making it the oldest museum in the country. It is located in the Auckland Domain, on a grass-covered hill, a dormant volcano, and was inaugurated on November 28, 1929.
  8. Air Force Museum of New Zealand8

    Air Force Museum of New Zealand

    The Air Force Museum of New Zealand, previously known as the Royal New Zealand Air Force Museum, is situated in Wigram, which was the first operational base of the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). The museum is located in Christchurch, on the South Island of New Zealand.
  9. 9

    Claphams National Clock Museum

  10. Orana Wildlife Park10

    Orana Wildlife Park

    Orana Wildlife Park is New Zealand 's only open-range zoo , sitting on 80 hectares of land, located on the outskirts of Christchurch . It opened in 1976, and is owned and operated by the Orana Wildlife Trust, a registered charity. The aims of the Trust are to provide quality recreational opportuniti
  11. Kerikeri Mission Station11

    Kerikeri Mission Station

    The Mission House, also known as Kemp House, is a significant part of New Zealand's history. Completed in 1822, it is the oldest surviving building in the country. It was built as part of the Kerikeri Mission Station by the Church Missionary Society. This historical landmark provides a glimpse into the early missionary life in New Zealand.
  12. New Zealand Rugby Museum12

    New Zealand Rugby Museum

    Palmerston North
    The New Zealand Rugby Museum, situated in Palmerston North, is a dedicated space for the sport of Rugby union. It is a place where visitors can explore the rich history and culture of this popular sport in New Zealand. The museum houses a wide range of exhibits, including equipment, clothing, books, photographs, trophies, and badges, among others.
  13. 13

    Goldfields Mining Centre

  14. Canterbury Museum14

    Canterbury Museum

    The Canterbury Museum, situated in Christchurch, New Zealand, is home to a wide range of internationally recognized exhibitions. These include displays on Antarctica, contemporary costumes, New Zealand avifauna (including extinct species), insects, the history of conflicts between the Maori and Europeans in the Canterbury region, ornamental art from Asia, and Canterbury's natural history. These diverse exhibits provide a comprehensive insight into the region's rich cultural and natural history.
  15. Willowbank Wildlife Reserve15

    Willowbank Wildlife Reserve

    Willowbank Wildlife Reserve is a wildlife park and nature reserve in Christchurch , New Zealand. As well as having public displays of various animal species it also carries out conservation of native species including tuatara , kiwi , brown teal , and duvaucel's gecko . Willowbank also holds the on
  16. Kiwi Birdlife Park16

    Kiwi Birdlife Park

    Come visit real kiwi and up to twenty other native birds and reptiles! Entertain yourself with the Live Bird Show or Kiwi Feedings.
  17. Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa17

    Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa

    Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa is a museum and art gallery situated in the Government Gardens, a short distance from the center of Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, on the North Island of New Zealand. This location makes it easily accessible for tourists visiting the area.
  18. City Gallery Wellington18

    City Gallery Wellington

    City Gallery Wellington is an art gallery located in the heart of New Zealand's capital, Wellington. It is operated by the Wellington Museums Trust, with the majority of its funding coming from the Wellington City Council. This gallery is a significant cultural institution in the city, showcasing a variety of art forms and styles.
  19. Ferrymead Heritage Park19

    Ferrymead Heritage Park

    Ferrymead Heritage Park, located in Christchurch, New Zealand, is an open-air museum that takes visitors back to the Edwardian era. The park is designed to replicate a small town from this period, providing a unique glimpse into the past. It's a great place for tourists who are interested in history and want to experience what life was like during the Edwardian era in New Zealand.
  20. Space Place20

    Space Place

    Space Place at Carter Observatory is a significant location in Wellington, New Zealand. It is situated at the top of the Wellington Botanic Garden, offering a unique combination of natural beauty and scientific exploration. The observatory is a public museum and planetarium with a focus on space and New Zealand astronomy, making it an interesting destination for tourists interested in these fields.
  21. Cable Car Museum21

    Cable Car Museum

    Enter freely into the museum which brings alive the old cable cars once driving in the city. Try to image the old elegant days.
  22. Aotea Centre22

    Aotea Centre

    The Aotea Centre is a performing arts and events centre in Auckland , New Zealand . Located at the western edge of Aotea Square , off Queen Street , the centre provides a cultural, entertainment and conventions venue space in the heart of the city, and is managed by Auckland Unlimited (which also op
  23. Hamilton Zoo23

    Hamilton Zoo

    Hamilton Zoo is the main zoological garden of Hamilton , New Zealand. Covering 25 hectares (62 acres), it is situated on Brymer Road in the Hamilton suburb of Rotokauri , on the outskirts of the metropolitan area towards the northwest. It is owned by the Hamilton City Council with the Department of
  24. Christchurch Arts Centre24

    Christchurch Arts Centre

    The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora is a hub for arts, culture, education, creativity and entrepreneurship in Christchurch , New Zealand. It is located in the Gothic Revival former Canterbury College (now the University of Canterbury) , Christchurch Boys' High School and Christchurch Girls' High Sc
  25. Nairn Street Cottage25

    Nairn Street Cottage

    Nairn Street Cottage, located in the suburb of Mount Cook in Wellington, holds the distinction of being the city's oldest original cottage. Constructed in 1858 by the Wallis family, the cottage stands as a testament to the early British colonists and their descendants who lived there for three generations. The cottage was built in a late Georgian style, similar to other houses built during that period.
  26. Olveston Historic Home26

    Olveston Historic Home

    Olveston Historic Home is a significant landmark in Dunedin, New Zealand. It was constructed between 1904 and 1906 for David Theomin, a prosperous merchant. This period property provides a glimpse into the life and times of its original owner, offering a unique perspective on the early 20th century.
  27. Riccarton House and Bush27

    Riccarton House and Bush

    Riccarton is a suburb of Christchurch . It is due west of the city centre , separated from it by Hagley Park . Upper Riccarton is to the west of Riccarton.
  28. Toitū Otago Settlers Museum28

    Toitū Otago Settlers Museum

    The Toitū Otago Settlers Museum, originally known as the Otago Early Settlers' Museum, is a regional museum located in Dunedin, Otago on the South Island of New Zealand. The museum focuses on the history of settlement and transportation in the region, providing a comprehensive look into the past of this unique area.
  29. Michael Joseph Savage Memorial29

    Michael Joseph Savage Memorial

    Takaparawhau / Bastion Point is a coastal piece of land in Ōrākei , Auckland , New Zealand, overlooking the Waitematā Harbour . The area is significant in New Zealand history as the site of protests in the late 1970s by Māori against forced land alienation by Pākehā (European settlers). Takaparawhau
  30. Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre30

    Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre

    The Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre is an aviation museum situated at the Omaka Air Field, which is a short 5 km (3 mi) journey from the centre of Blenheim, New Zealand. This location makes it easily accessible for tourists visiting the area.
  31. Warkworth and District Museum31

    Warkworth and District Museum

    The Warkworth & District Museum, also known as the Warkworth Museum, is a local museum situated in the township of Warkworth in the Auckland Region of New Zealand. This museum is a significant destination for those interested in local history and culture.
  32. Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi32

    Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi

    The Treaty of Waitangi, signed on February 6, 1840, is considered the founding document of New Zealand as a nation. This significant event took place in Waitangi, marking the village as a crucial site in the country's history. Visitors to the village can learn about the treaty and its implications for New Zealand's development as a nation.
  33. Founders Heritage Park33

    Founders Heritage Park

    Founders Heritage Park is a museum located in Nelson, New Zealand. It is home to a variety of historical themes, one of which includes transport. This museum offers a unique opportunity to explore the rich history of New Zealand through its diverse collections.
  34. Te Waimate Mission34

    Te Waimate Mission

    Waimate North
    Te Waimate Mission holds a significant place in New Zealand's history as the fourth mission station established in the country. It was also the first inland settlement from the Bay of Islands, marking a shift in the pattern of settlement during the early missionary period. Today, visitors can explore this historic site and learn about its unique role in the country's past.
  35. Our City O-Tautahi35

    Our City O-Tautahi

    Our City , more formally Our City O-Tautahi , also known as the Old Municipal Chambers , is a Queen Anne style building on the corner of Worcester Street and Oxford Terrace in the Christchurch Central City . It is a Category I heritage building registered with Heritage New Zealand . From 1887 to 192
  36. Archives New Zealand36

    Archives New Zealand

    Archives New Zealand ( Māori : Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga ) is New Zealand's national archive and the official guardian of its public archives. As the government's recordkeeping authority, it administers the Public Records Act 2005 and promotes good information management throughout government.
  37. Katherine Mansfield House & Garden37

    Katherine Mansfield House & Garden

    Katherine Mansfield House and Garden (formerly known as Katherine Mansfield Birthplace) was the early childhood home of Katherine Mansfield , a prominent New Zealand author. The building, located in Thorndon , Wellington , is classified as a "Category I" historic place by Heritage New Zealand .
  38. Lumsden Heritage Trust38

    Lumsden Heritage Trust

    The Lumsden Heritage Trust was formed in November 2013 to preserve the past, promote the future and provide an attraction for visitors. The trust has two ex-AFFCO locomotives that were formerly preserved by the Goldfields Railway , the chassis of P 60 , ex- New Zealand Railways (NZR) wagons that wer
  39. Warbirds & Wheels39

    Warbirds & Wheels

  40. Museum of Transport and Technology40

    Museum of Transport and Technology

    The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) is a technology and transport museum located in the Western Springs suburb of Auckland, New Zealand. It was established in 1960 by a group of interest associations that had come together in 1957 to collect and preserve historical tram vehicles and railway locomotives. The museum was opened in 1964 and is home to a wide range of land vehicles and aircraft, many of which are still maintained by volunteers.
  41. Thames School of Mines41

    Thames School of Mines

  42. National Aquarium of New Zealand42

    National Aquarium of New Zealand

  43. West Coast Wildlife Centre43

    West Coast Wildlife Centre

    Franz Josef
  44. Ewelme Cottage44

    Ewelme Cottage

    Kinder House and Ewelme Cottage are two historic houses on Ayr Street, in the suburb of Parnell , Auckland , New Zealand. Because of claimed hauntings, the homes were visited by a team of paranormal investigators in 2005 and featured on Ghost Hunt , a New Zealand television show.
  45. Kinder House45

    Kinder House

    Kinder House and Ewelme Cottage are two historic houses on Ayr Street, in the suburb of Parnell , Auckland , New Zealand. Because of claimed hauntings, the homes were visited by a team of paranormal investigators in 2005 and featured on Ghost Hunt , a New Zealand television show.
  46. 46

    Hawkes Bay Farmyard Zoo

  47. Highwic47


    Highwic is a significant 19th-century house located in Auckland, New Zealand. It is recognized by Heritage New Zealand as a Category I structure, indicating its high historical and cultural value. The house was built in 1862 and has since been preserved as a testament to the architectural and societal norms of the time.
  48. 48


    A lovely and romantic colonial mansion from 1863, which used to host balls and garden parties. Come to see the original furniture.
  49. Crystal Mountain49

    Crystal Mountain

    Swanson is an outer suburb of the Auckland region, situated in the North Island of New Zealand. It's a peaceful and scenic location that offers a unique blend of urban and rural living. The suburb is surrounded by the beautiful Waitakere Ranges, providing plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking and bird watching.
  50. New Zealand Portrait Gallery50

    New Zealand Portrait Gallery

    The New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata is located in the Waterfront Shed 11 building in Wellington, New Zealand. This art gallery is a significant cultural institution in the city, offering visitors a chance to explore a diverse collection of portraits featuring works by, and of, New Zealanders.
  51. 51

    Quake City

  52. New Zealand Cricket Museum52

    New Zealand Cricket Museum

    The Basin Reserve, fondly referred to as 'The Basin', is a cricket stadium located in Wellington, New Zealand. It was inaugurated in the year 1868, making it the oldest cricket stadium in the country. This historical significance adds to the charm of the stadium, making it a point of interest for tourists visiting Wellington.
  53. Artspace Aotearoa53

    Artspace Aotearoa

    Artspace Aotearoa, previously known as Artspace NZ, is an art gallery situated in Auckland, New Zealand. It is conveniently located on Karangahape Road in the Newton area of the city. The gallery was established in 1987 and has since been a hub for contemporary New Zealand and overseas art.
  54. Reserve Bank of New Zealand54

    Reserve Bank of New Zealand

    The Reserve Bank of New Zealand was established in its current form in 1934 by the then Finance Minister, Gordon Coates. This historical event marked a significant milestone in the financial history of New Zealand. As a tourist, learning about this could provide you with a deeper understanding of the country's economic evolution.
  55. 55

    Punanga Manu o Te Anau/Te Anau Bird Sanctuary

    Te Anau
  56. New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame56

    New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame

    The New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame is an organization that commemorates the greatest sporting triumphs of New Zealand. It is a place where visitors can learn about the country's rich sports history and the athletes who have made significant contributions to it.
  57. Waikato Museum57

    Waikato Museum

    The Waikato Museum, also known as Te Whare Taonga o Waikato, is a regional museum situated in Hamilton, New Zealand. It is managed by the Hamilton City Council and is a significant cultural institution in the region. The museum is located at 1 Grantham Street in Hamilton’s central business district on the west bank of the Waikato River, making it easily accessible for visitors.
  58. The Physics Room58

    The Physics Room

    The Physics Room, located in Christchurch, New Zealand, is a non-commercial contemporary art gallery. It is recognized as one of the country's leading contemporary experiential art spaces. This gallery offers a unique opportunity for visitors to experience contemporary art in a non-commercial setting, providing a different perspective on the art scene in New Zealand.
  59. Dunedin Public Art Gallery & Museum59

    Dunedin Public Art Gallery & Museum

    The Dunedin Public Art Gallery is a significant cultural institution in Dunedin, New Zealand. It houses the city's main public art collection, making it a key destination for art enthusiasts and tourists alike. The gallery's collection is diverse, featuring both historic and contemporary works by New Zealand and international artists.
  60. Pompallier Mission and Printery60

    Pompallier Mission and Printery

    Pompallier House, located in Russell, New Zealand, is a significant historical site that dates back to the nineteenth century. It once served as the headquarters for the French Catholic mission to the Western Pacific. The building is named after Jean Baptiste Pompallier, the first vicar apostolic to visit New Zealand, who established several missions in the North Island.
  61. MTG Hawke's Bay Tai Ahurir61

    MTG Hawke's Bay Tai Ahurir

    MTG Hawke's Bay Tai Ahuriri is a multifaceted cultural institution located in Napier, New Zealand. It comprises a museum, theatre, and art gallery, all housed within three buildings that underwent significant redevelopment in 2013. This establishment offers a diverse range of experiences for visitors, from exploring historical artifacts and artworks to enjoying theatrical performances.
  62. Golden Bay Museum62

    Golden Bay Museum

    Takaka is a quaint village nestled at the southern end of Golden Bay, in the northern part of New Zealand's South Island. It's a charming place that offers a unique blend of natural beauty and local culture, making it an interesting destination for tourists.
  63. 63

    Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

    The New Zealand Film Archive was established in 1981. On 1 August 2014 the archive was amalgamated with Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero and the Television New Zealand Archive to form Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision .
  64. 64

    New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts

    The New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts (also referred to as the Wellington Art Society) was founded in Wellington in July 1882 as The Fine Arts Association of New Zealand. Founding artists included painters William Beetham (first president of the Association) and Charles Decimus Barraud . The associat
  65. 65

    The Parrot Place

  66. 66

    The National Tattoo Museum of New Zealand

    Te Aro is an inner suburb of Wellington, New Zealand's capital city. It is conveniently located just 1 km from the city center, making it easily accessible for tourists. The suburb is home to a majority of the city's entertainment center and covers a large part of the residential building area, extending from 'the Terrace' to 'Cambridge Terrace', at the foot of Mount Victoria.
  67. 67

    The National Kiwi Centre

  68. 68

    Pukerua Bay School Museum

  69. Otago Museum69

    Otago Museum

  70. 70

    Staglands Wildlife Reserve & Café

    Upper Hutt
  71. Puke Ariki Museum71

    Puke Ariki Museum

    New Plymouth
    Puke Ariki, which translates to 'Hill of Chiefs' in Maori, is a unique establishment in New Plymouth, New Zealand. It is a combined museum and library, offering visitors a chance to explore a wide range of exhibits and resources in one location. This combination of cultural and educational resources makes it a unique destination for tourists.
  72. 72

    Dannevirke Domain

  73. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa73

    Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

    The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, colloquially known as Te Papa and Our Place, is the national museum of New Zealand. It is situated in the city of Wellington. This museum is a significant cultural and historical institution that provides a comprehensive insight into the nation's history, natural history, and culture.
  74. 74

    EnkleDooVery Korna Wallaby Park

  75. 75

    Mill Creek Bird Park and Animal Encounters

  76. The Edwin Fox Ship and Visitor Centre76

    The Edwin Fox Ship and Visitor Centre

    The Edwin Fox is a significant piece of maritime history, being one of the world's oldest surviving merchant sailing ships. It also holds the unique distinction of being the only surviving ship that transported convicts to Australia. This makes it a fascinating destination for those interested in maritime history and the history of convict transportation.
  77. Torpedo Bay Navy Museum77

    Torpedo Bay Navy Museum

    The Torpedo Bay Navy Museum, situated in Devonport, Auckland, is the official museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy. It offers a unique opportunity to delve into the rich history and heritage of the New Zealand Navy, making it an interesting destination for history enthusiasts and curious tourists alike.
  78. The Historic Village78

    The Historic Village

  79. Hokitika Museum79

    Hokitika Museum

    The Hokitika Museum, situated in Hokitika on the West Coast of the South Island in New Zealand, is the largest museum and archive on the West Coast. It is housed in the historic Hokitika Carnegie Library building, adding to its charm and historical significance.
  80. 80

    Brooklands Zoo

    New Plymouth
  81. 81

    Holocaust Centre of New Zealand

    The painful topic of Holocaust is treated with respect in this little museum which is also a research center whose goal is to teach tolerance.
  82. 82

    Devonport Museum

    Devonport was originally made up of three volcanic islands, Mount Victoria, North Head, and the largely quarry-destroyed Mount Cambria. These geographical features add to the unique landscape of Devonport and offer tourists opportunities for hiking and sightseeing. The views from these points are spectacular, providing panoramic views of the surrounding area.
  83. 83

    ORA Gallery

    To see some contemporary art head straight to this gallery which gives a chance to rising New Zealand artists.
  84. The Central Art Gallery84

    The Central Art Gallery

  85. 85

    John Leech Gallery

    With its 150 year-old tradition the oldest dealer gallery in the country supports contemporary artists from both New Zealand and Australia.
  86. Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū86

    Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū

    The Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, also known as the Christchurch Art Gallery, is the public art gallery of Christchurch, New Zealand. It is a significant cultural institution in the city, showcasing a substantial collection of art and hosting a variety of New Zealand and international exhibitions. The gallery is funded by the Christchurch City Council and is a testament to the city's commitment to the arts.
  87. Dunedin Gasworks Museum87

    Dunedin Gasworks Museum

    The Dunedin Gasworks Museum is situated in South Dunedin, on the South Island of New Zealand. This location is easily accessible and offers a unique opportunity to explore a piece of industrial history in a beautiful setting.
  88. 88

    Fyffe House

  89. 89

    Kaikoura Museum

  90. Mansion House90

    Mansion House

    Mansion House, located on Kawau Island in New Zealand, is a significant historical site. It was owned by Sir George Grey from 1862 to 1888, who extended the house significantly during his ownership. The house was originally built in 1845 for the manager of a copper mine on the island. Today, it stands as a testament to the island's rich history and the life of Sir George Grey.
  91. Albertland Heritage Museum91

    Albertland Heritage Museum

    Wellsford is a town located in the Auckland Council area on the North Island of New Zealand. It was part of the former Rodney District until the end of October 2010, when it became part of the newly formed Auckland Council. The town is approximately 17 km northwest of Warkworth and about 65 km north-northwest of Auckland city center.
  92. 92

    Raglan & District Museum

  93. Sarjeant Gallery Whanganui93

    Sarjeant Gallery Whanganui

    The Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui, located at Pukenamu, Queen's Park Whanganui, is currently undergoing redevelopment and is therefore closed to the public. This is an important piece of information for tourists planning to visit the gallery, as they would need to adjust their plans accordingly.
  94. Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom94

    Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom

    Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom is a unique multi-cultural and multi-purpose hub located in Foxton, a town in the southern part of New Zealand's North Island. This facility serves as a visitor and community center, offering a variety of services and attractions to both locals and tourists.
  95. Foxton Historical Society Museum95

    Foxton Historical Society Museum

    The Foxton Courthouse, located in the township of Foxton, New Zealand, is a historic building that dates back to 1929. This brick structure replaced a previous wooden building and has since become a significant part of the town's history.
  96. 96


    An art gallery with a reputation for discovering new talents and exhibiting their artworks, be it paintings or photography.
  97. 97

    Rutherford's Den

  98. 98

    Coromandel School of Mines & Historic Museum

  99. 99

    National Transport and Toy Museum

  100. 100

    Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Museum & Theatre

    Aoraki / Mount Cook

All museums in New Zealand