Address: 1 Grantham Street (End of Victoria Street, opposite the Hood St)
Phone No: (07) 838 6606
Opening Hours: 10am - 4pm daily (except Christmas Day)
Located on the banks of the Waikato River, the Waikato Museum is Hamilton's art and culture hub. Built in 1987 by the same architect that designed NZ's National Museum Te Papa, the facility houses a rich and diverse collection of both New Zealand and Maori exhibits. Entry is free to the Museum, but donations are welcomed to assist with the running of the complex.
The Museum holds over 38,000 artifacts and Maori taonga. The Tainui tribe is the largest local tribe in the Waikato region, and the exhibition 'Ngaa Pou Whenua' has pride of place here. Learn about Maori culture, how the area was settled and how the mighty Waikato River has played it's part in the area. Marvel at the large Maori canoe display Waka Te Winika.
Five levels and 12 galleries allow unique exhibits to be displayed in innovative ways. The Neighbouring Arts Post building also has free entry to three art Galleries. ArtsPost showcases both classic, and fresh art in constantly changing collections.
Excsite Kids Exhibits
For kids there is the Exscite interactive science centre. The $8 charge per child is worth it as there is lots of exciting activities to interact with. Excsite is a permanent fixture at the Waikato Museum, but the Exscite Trust does regularly update and add new activities, as well as refurbished older favourites. Admission also includes entry to Planet Warriors. Even if you don't take advantage of this section there is still plenty for kids to see and do throughout the museum!
With the complex located right opposite the famous Hood Street Restaurants and Bars, why not grab an early dinner after a day at the Museum.