Rotorua Museum

Rotorua Museum - Taniwha Rotorua Stories Cinema. Rotorua history, Maori culture and traditions Rotorua Museum - Art, Culture, Heritage: Rotorua history, Maori culture and traditions
Rotorua Museum - Pukaki Rotorua Museum - Art, Culture, Heritage: Rotorua history, Maori culture and traditions
Photo Credits
Bottom Left: Pukaki. By permission, Pukaki Trust. David Hamilton Photography
Bottom Right: Rotorua Museum. Fullframe Photography.

At Rotorua Museum dramatic multi-media exhibitions, iconic treasures and informative guided tours help you discover more about the region’s rich culture, volatile landscape and dramatic history.

Be thrilled by the Museum’s high impact cinema experience – ‘Rotorua Stories’. Visitors are taken on an adventure to learn the scientific and mythological reasons for Rotorua’s geothermal landscape.  The movie’s active portrayal of the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera leaves the audience under no illusion as to the impact of that frightful night.

The new signature exhibition Ngā Pūmanawa o Te Arawa – The Beating Hearts of Te Arawa is a must-see. Using innovative displays, taonga (treasures), and stunning design, it follows Te Arawa people, the original inhabitants of the area, from their homeland in Hawaiki to their descendants in Rotorua today. Provoking displays talk of the pink and white terraces, the eruption of Tarawera and it’s effect on modern day Rotorua.

Explore the iconic category 1 listed heritage Bath House building, from basement to rooftop.  Rotorua Museum also offers five changing galleries and a varied programme of events ensure there is always something new to see.


  • Entry to all permanent and changing exhibitions
  • Entry to Rotorua Stories Cinema (runs every 20 minutes, available in 8 languages)
  • Entry to B Company 28 Maori Battalion Cinema (runs every 30 minutes)
  • Guided Tour (run hourly from 10am-5pm in the summer or 10am-4pm in the winter. Duration  approx 1 hour)

Operating hours

9am – 8pm summer (Oct – Mar)
9am – 5pm winter (Apr – Sep)

Open daily except Christmas Day

Location of Rotorua Museum

Oruawhata Drive, Government Gardens, Rotorua

Suggested visit length

1.5-2 hours