A city of unique multicultural history, Auckland culture is different from most. Its blend of European and Maori culture have led to art and writings that are truly unique, and Auckland has worked hard to preserve and display as much as possible through its many museums and galleries.
While the city itself is filled with beautiful street art and public installations, the true Auckland arts scene lives within the many heritage-listed galleries that store the most surprising works. Best of all, many of the city’s greatest art destinations are within walking distance of each other.
A shrine to Auckland’s long-standing naval history, the Auckland Maritime Museum traces New Zealand’s history on the water back to when the first Polynesian settlers arrived on the shores in their hardy canoes sometime in the 11th century. This museum is a gorgeous time capsule of Auckland life since before the city began.
Also referred to as the Auckland War Memorial Museum, the Auckland Museum is located within the Auckland Domain park in Parnell. A showcase for artefacts from both around the world and from Auckland itself, touring the museum is one of the greatest ways to immerse yourself in New Zealand’s rich, textured history.
The Auckland Art Gallery, situated on the grounds of the beautiful Albert Park, is one of the largest repositories of works created by local and overseas artists. For a taste of true Kiwi creativity, art lovers would be remiss if they didn’t add a visit to this incredible gallery to their itineraries. Best of all, entry is free!
Nestled in the Monte Cecilia Park in Hillsborough, the Wallace Arts Centre hosts a bevy of contemporary works by local artists, as well as a regular rotation of touring exhibits. Found in the historic Pah Homestead, the gallery is home to over 8,000 different artworks and is the perfect place for art lovers to spend the day.
The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) is Auckland’s love letter to the most inventive Kiwis to ever pick up a wrench. A time capsule like the Maritime Museum before it, visiting MOTAT is a wonderful way to learn about the innovative Kiwi spirit that has kept the country alive and energised since its foundation.