On Saturday, Justin was feeling under the weather so we needed a non-strenuous activity just to get out of the house for a few hours. We decided to visit the Auckland Museum in the Domain. We were prepared to pay the $10 entry fee but upon arrival discovered the museum is free to Auckland residents, bonus!
The museum has 3 floors with different themes on each. The ground floor covers the history of New Zealand from the native tribes up through modern times. It also displays artifacts from most of the other surrounding Polynesian islands. Justin was clever enough to discover that if you touch a piece in one of the exhibits, an electronic voice will notify you to step away from the display. Part of the history section was geared toward children and displayed New Zealand children's items for each time period in history. We were amused to learn that our own childhood is now considered long enough ago to be displayed in a museum. That's right, there was a bunk bed section displaying children's items from the 1980's and 90's including a Romeo & Juliet poster with Leonardo DiCaprio, a magazine with Dawson's Creek, and roller blades among other things. This floor also has a middle gallery which houses traveling exhibits currently showing Camera, a showcase of wildlife and documentary photography.
|Blurry shot of the 1990's Museum Exhibit|
|And one of the boys bunk bed|
The second floor is a nature theme displaying the flora, fauna, and geography of New Zealand. There is a little house in this exhibit that you can go inside and witness a simulation of a volcano erupting in Auckland. This was pretty cool and a little too realistic. You were literally sitting in the living room of a house in St. Heliers looking out at Rangitoto, the volcano you can see from most places in Auckland, watching a news program about the recent earthquakes in the area. The reporter recaps the events of the day and the city evacuation and is then interrupted by an actual volcanic eruption in the bay. The simulation ends with shots of the aftermath of the eruption. All of this right after we toured the beginning of the exhibit and learned there are 48 volcanic cones in Auckland including the one the Auckland Museum sits on and that Mt Rangitoto is still considered an active mountain.
|Mt Rangitoto from Devonport|
The top floor tells the story of New Zealand's involvement in wars including a pictorial temporary exhibit entitled You are Here: Mapping Auckland.
We only made it through the ground floor and the geography section of the second floor before Justin started to feel pretty bad and needed food and rest. However, we thoroughly enjoyed our time in the museum and plan on returning thanks to the free entry to finish exploring. We topped off the day with an early and long dinner at Archie's, one of our favorite pizza spots in the city in New Market.