Rotorua Museum of Art and History

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Timings : 11 AM to 12 PM1 PM to 3 PM (Weekdays)11 AM to 12 PM2 PM to 3 PM (Weekends)

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : Guided tours are free of cost

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Rotorua Museum of Art and History, Rotorua Overview

The Rotorua Museum of Art and History is set in a spectacular former bath house. The building is a true architectural gem. If you wish to go on an informational spin about the region’s cultural and geological history, this museum is the place for you. It houses an essential collection of TeArawataonga. Whenever visiting the museum, plan a short halt at the TeAraway War memorial nearby.

The museum is located near the City centre, in the Government Gardens. The house of art and history houses an impressive collection of Taonga objects from the Maori culture, social history, photography and fine arts. The front fence of the gardens showcases various carvings, while the south of the museum is home to a contemporary Maori sculpture. The Rotorua Museum of Art and History offers a world-class cultural experience with exhibitions from nationally and internationally renowned artists. You can surely learn a lot about the exciting geothermal history of New Zealand at this museum. Discover the heritage and culture of the nation. Commuting is easy as the museum is a few minutes from central Rotorua. You can enjoy scenic tours of the Government Gardens for free.

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Activities at the Museum

Guided Tours of Government Gardens
The Museum doors are currently closed but you are set free beyond the walls for garden tours in the stunning and historic Government Gardens. Private guided tours are also available at other times by prior arrangement. Learn some of the interesting history of battles, buildings and the Government Gardens. These gardens were transformed from a wilderness of scrub, geysers and hot pools into a beautiful place with Victorian charm.

Explore the Bath House Building
This is the most photographed building of Rotorua. The Bath House today houses the Rotorua Museum but once upon a time, it was a famous spa which used to offer therapeutic treatments to its visitors all over the world. Water from the nearby thermal springs was piped into the bathrooms and massage rooms. This is a magnificent Elizabethan style bath house. It has half-timbered construction, gables, towers, grand staircase, all of which make it an architectural icon.

Enjoy admiring Summers’ Sculptures
In the foyer and the north wing of the Rotorua Museum are the sculptures of Australian sculptor Charles Francis Summers Junior. The Bath House owns 11 sculptures of the renowned artists and these represent the largest collection of Summers’ work in the world. The sculptures include Eve, The First Whisper Of Love, The Chariot of Love, Two Friends, Bacchante and the Infant Bacchus, Deborah the Prophetess, Susannah Surprises by the Elders, Pauline Bonaparte, Zephyr Teaching Cupid to Fly, Saint Cecilia, Busts of Demosthenes and Socrates and Flora.

Gaze at the majestic Mount Tarawera 
This majestic mountain overlooks the Rotorua Museum of Art and History. Early settlers of this area were the TeArawa explorers. The mount went through three volcanic eruptions in 1886 and the settlement of TeArawa people was almost run down. The tectonic plates here have been moving for many years now and continue to do the same.

How To Reach Rotorua Museum of Art and History

Once you are in Central Rotorua, you need to travel northwards along the Fenton Street. Then turn right into the Arawa Street at a round-about by the clock tower. Now, you can enter the government gardens through the wooden arches (Princes gate) and there you will see Rotorua Museum overlooking you.

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