• Eric and Joan – A Museum Love Story

    Thursday, 14 February 2019

    Down in the depths of the Museum’s northern wing is the Mud Bath Basement where lies an old red high-heeled shoe and a nearby sign that reads : “Shadowy lovers from the past sneaked under the building and proclaimed their affection in the graffiti on the right…..” This sign points…

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  • A Christmas in New Zealand, 1938

    Tuesday, 18 December 2018

    It is rare for a Museum to receive a whole record of one person’s Christmas holiday but that is what happened this year. Rotorua Museum was donated objects from an Australian visitor and the items came with a great story. They were collected by the donor’s mother, Helen Lawrie, when…

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  • A rich history of Royal visitors to Rotorua

    Tuesday, 23 October 2018

    Rotorua has a long history of putting on a good spread and a good show for members of the royal family. Rotorua has warmly welcomed the following royal family members: 1870                The Duke of Edinburgh 1901                The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York (later King George V and Queen…

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  • Plate with image of White Terrace Eruption, date unknown, maker unknown, Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa (2011.63.3)

    Souvenir ware plate ‘Eruption of the White Terrace’

    Wednesday, 11 July 2018

    The Rotorua Museum has what we think is the biggest collection of souvenir ware in museums in New Zealand. Most of the pieces were made in the 1900s and have scenes like the Bath House, Sanatorium, Prince’s Gate, Ohinemutu, or Whakarewarewa. This plate is unusual in that is shows an…

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  • The mummified cat from Tarawera eruption, found at Wairoa 1901 by C. Crowther, Rotorua

    The mystery of the Tarawera cats

    Friday, 8 June 2018

    Many people will remember the dried remains of a cat which had been displayed in Rotorua Museum in recent years. In fact it has been described as one of the museum’s most popular exhibits. Here is the story of the three Tarawera cats that were included in the Tarawera eruption…

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  • Crowds gather at Fred Wylie Memorial Carnival Day in February 1904

    Fred Wylie and his rifle

    Thursday, 24 May 2018

    Most Rotorua residents will be familiar with the memorial in Government Gardens to soldier Fred W. Wylie but they might not know his story or why he was honoured with a memorial. The 26th of May marks the anniversary of his death. Frederick William Wylie was living in Galatea (76…

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  • Catch up with the Curator: Margaret Aull, Taonga Gallery and Tuku Iho Collection Curator

    Monday, 12 March 2018

    We’re excited to kick off the first Catch up with the Curator blog for 2018. This week Rotorua Museum’s Lead Exhibitions Curator, Ane Tonga, caught up with esteemed artist and curator Margaret Aull (Te Rarawa, Tūwharetoa, Fiji). Margaret is an established artist who has exhibited her artwork nationally and internationally,…

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  • Exploring Rotorua’s history of Santa Parades

    Wednesday, 29 November 2017

    It’s carnival time. Love them or hate them, Santa Parades have been part of New Zealand’s history since the early 1900s. Right from the start they have been a commercial venture supported by the large department stores that would promote the arrival of their in-store Santa. Father Christmas made his…

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  • The Fenton Agreement 1880-2030

    Friday, 24 November 2017

    1980 was a busy year for the City of Rotorua. It was the year that the city chose to celebrate its founding on 25 November 1880. The year-long centennial celebration kicked off in style in November 1979 when the Morrison Quartet briefly reunited for a special concert at the Rotorua…

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  • World War I Quilt

    World War I Red Cross Autograph Quilt

    Friday, 10 November 2017

    The 11th of November is Armistice Day, the date that is commemorated around the world as the official end to World War I. To mark Armistice Day, and remember all those soldiers who died as well as those who were treated in hospitals far from home, I will focus on…

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