War Memorial Museum is one of New Zealand
's most important museums and war memorials. Its collections concentrate on New Zealand history (and especially the history of the Auckland Region), natural history, as well as military history.The museum is also one of the most iconic Auckland buildings, constructed in the neo-classicist style, and sitting on a grassed plinth (the remains of a dormant volcano) in the Auckland Domain
, a large public park close to the Auckland CBD.
The Auckland Museum traces its lineage back to 1852 when it was established in a farm workers' cottage where Auckland University is now located. The museum houses a large collection of Māori and Pacific Island artefacts and treasures, including for example three entire buildings, including Hotunui, a large carved meeting house built in 1878 at Thames
, and Te Toki a Tapiri, a waka taua (war canoe) from 1830.
The museum also stores a photographic collection of 1.2 million images, and stores and exhibits 1.5 million natural history specimens from the fields of botany, entomology, geology, land vertebrates and marine biology. The stated goal is to eventually possess specimens from all New Zealand species.The museum also offers changing special exhibitions.