• Rotorua Museum invites you to write a short story about some of the items from the collection

    Thursday, 8 August 2019

    Rotorua Museum cares for more than 55,000 objects and photographs. Some of these have fantastic stories behind them and some of them have no information whatsoever. A third group have scattered tempting nuggets of information which make the staff wonder “What’s the story?” The team selected some of these items…

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  • Swimming in wool

    Friday, 21 June 2019

    In the 1930s Professor D. B. Anderson of Auckland (“leading swimming instructor in the Dominion”) wrote a booklet on how to swim that contained written instructions for all the strokes.   All about swimming, ca1933. By D. B. Anderson. Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa (2008.85) It was…

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  • World Environment Day

    Wednesday, 5 June 2019

    For World Environment Day we will consider the possum, introduced to New Zealand for its fur in 1837. Possums really took to New Zealand conditions and have caused serious damage to both plants and birds in New Zealand since that time. We recently unearthed an interesting letter concerning a possum…

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  • Rotorua Museum sends AEIOU exhibition on the road

    Friday, 17 May 2019

    In 2015 the team at Rotorua Museum developed the exhibition: AEIOU Tūhurahia te arapū Māori | Explore the Māori alphabet. This is entertaining, family exhibition focused on the Māori alphabet and visitors enjoyed learning Māori words through a diverse mix of objects from the Rotorua Museum collection. Local Rotorua artist,…

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  • Te Arawa Soldiers’ Memorial Unveiling

    Friday, 1 March 2019

      More than 250 people attended the moving ceremony unveiling the restored Te Arawa Soldiers’ Memorial, 92 years to the day from when it was originally erected in 1927. Taking place in Government Gardens (Corner of Queen’s Drive and Oruawhata Drive), several aspects of today’s service replicated those that were…

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  • 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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