Renowned as a geothermal wonder, Rotorua, located in North Island, New Zealand, offers local and international tourists an exhilarating array of things to do and see. Although primarily a hotspot for water and mountain adventures and spa rejuvenation, Rotorua also showcases the rich culture of the Māori people, the first inhabitants of the district who currently make up over a third of the local population. This picturesque destination offers many places and events for tourists interested in garnering a deeper appreciation of Māori art and culture and gaining greater insights into their history.
The Rotorua Museum of Art and History, managed by the local district council, is the result of the collaboration of the Rotorua Museum and the Rotorua Art Gallery in 1988. Located in the iconic Bath House in the Government Gardens, the museum displays large collections of fine art, social history, photography and historic objects that give insights into the Māori’s extraordinary past. The Taonga Māori Collection features authentic belongings of the Arawa people, the area’s original inhabitants. The Fine Arts Collection includes significant images of New Zealand as well as works of both historic and contemporary art, ceramics and sculptures. The Photographic Collection features over 70,000 photographs that give visitors a clear idea of the area’s rich history. The fascinating Social History Collection displays objects and souvenirs of the locale dating back to the times of European settlers.
Besides its key collections, the museum also allows visitors to dive deeper into the region’s history and ancient lifestyles through a number of poignant permanent exhibitions, such as the Taking the Cure Gallery, Te Arawa Gallery, Tarawera Gallery and the Māori Battalion Gallery. The museum is not just a collection of historic material and objects of art; it is also a thrilling experience for tourists looking to absorb local history and culture through unique contemporary displays, cinematic experiences and guided tours. The Viewing Platform at the museum’s rooftop offers a breathtaking and panoramic view of the Government Gardens, Lake Rotorua and Sulphur Bay. Visitors can also explore the beautiful Bath House, a true landmark of New Zealand’s history.
Tourists to the region will find Rotorua hotel accommodation with ease, as the city offers many hotels, resorts and lodges that make for an enjoyable holiday. The Millennium Hotel Rotorua is only a short walk away from the Rotorua Museum of Art and History and is an excellent choice for travellers who wish to complete their vacation with a luxurious stay in a plush Rotorua hotel.