Auckland’s War Memorial is one of New Zealand’s most important museums. Its focus is not only on military history, but also the history of New Zealand and its natural wonders. Located on a dormant volcano within Domain Park, its creation dates back to 1852 in a farm worker’s cottage where the University of Auckland is now. In 1869, the museum was transferred to the Auckland Institute’s new building on Princes Street. Soon after its June 1876 official opening, display problems quickly became evident, which necessitated making plans for a newer purpose-built structure. Around this same time, the museum merged with the World War I Memorial. Construction for the current building in Domain Park began in the 1920’s and was completed by the end of the decade. This new structure is considered to be one of the finest Greco-Roman buildings in the Southern Hemisphere. Highlighted amongst its collections are artifacts from the Maori and Pacific Islanders. Today, the museum houses over 1.2 million photographs, 1.5 million exhibits of natural history, along with artifacts pertaining to all wars. Perched atop the volcano’s crater rim, this impressive building has a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape.
Sitting on the crater’s rim of a dormant volcano, Auckland’s War Memorial Museum is known internationally as one of the finest examples of Greco-Roman architecture in the Southern Hemisphere...
...and its surrounding views are wonderful.
Here in the Hall of Flags and Rememberances...
...the museum pays homage to those who have died in the service of New Zealand.
Memorializing War is not the only function of this museum. Among other things, it highlights the contributions of the Maori and Pacific Islanders to the history of New Zealand in such exhibits as this raised storehouse..:
...and this village meeting hall.
Several times per day, local Maori perform ritual “Hakas” (dances) for visitors.
After the show, we got to meet the performers up close and personal.
Inspite of their fierce looking postures, each was quite friendly and personable.
But this is also a natural history museum in which such exhibits as the Kiwi (New Zealand’s National Bird) are displayed...
...as well as this 145 million year old fossilized ammonite found on New Zealand’s North Island.
Major-General Robert Baden-Powell (founder of the Boy Scout movement) commissioned William Seuffert in 1900 to make this desk. It was sold to the museum in 2013 by Baden-Powell descendants.
This is the fossilized tree stump we mentioned in the text of the previous posting that helped to determine the estimated date of the volcanic eruption that created the Domain Park.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.