Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt

Art & Heritage

Rotorua Museums & Art Galleries things to do

  • 4 minutes

Bay of Plenty, North Island

Uncovered 7 Rotorua gems


  • Outstanding Rotorua Museum with its interactive exhibits
  • Pompeii of the Pacific, New Zealand’s Buried Village is a testament to the Smith Family
  • Te Puia gallery and studios showcasing Maori creative spirit
  • Hot glass studio, Amokura Glass is a perfect special moment destination for a gift
  • The Arts Village where contemporary art and New Zealand fusion art between the aesthetic and indigenous meet in a cooperative setting
  • Rozcraft a pioneer in NZ made souvenirs factory shop is where fluffy woolly sheep wait patiently
  • Portico a potpourri of carefully selected gift items showcasing NZ arts and crafts
Āhua Māori Art Gallery, New Zealand @Te Puia
Āhua Māori Art Gallery @Te Puia

Rotorua Museum: Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa

A comprehensive assessment of Rotorua Museum has shown it falls well below earthquake safety standards and will need to remain closed to the public for the foreseeable future.

From carefully selected chisels and carving tools visitors observe the creative process in action. Maori cultural values, the world of indigenous New Zealand wood carving, pounamu (jade), whale bone, bronze, and textiles ranging from wool to flax are on display. The exquisite detail is apparent in the finished pieces displayed in the Āhua Māori Art Gallery. Just browsing and what to discover more about the Maori creative process visitors are welcome to simply observe. The serious shopper is in for a treat.


Amokura Glass is Rotorua’s hot glass studio & glass art gallery. Run by artist Heather Kremen, the studio aims to create beautiful works of glass art while putting on a show for visitors. There is nothing like molten glass swirling into shape with the fire of creativity making it happen. A great place for families to be introduced to the age-old art of glass making. The hot shop is open between 9:30AM- 2:00PM (Friday to Monday).



Where photography meets art. The core of the shop is framing with a glorious section devoted to John Miles superb landscape photographic fine art pieces. For the dedicated home photographer Portico Gallery offers fine art digital print or Giclée (gee-clay) is an individually produced, high resolution, high-fidelity reproduction done on a special fine art printer. Giclées are the most acceptable form of fine art reproduction for museums and galleries and your home or workplace. The gallery is beautifully presented and you could linger for several hours absorbing the fine art prints.


Possum clothing anyone or interior design items crafted from local materials then this is the place to go. As Roz herself describes it, ‘ The focus in on absolute quality NZ made products at a price that competes with imported items.’



The Arts Village Rotorua merges three historic buildings into a contemporary visual space. The not for profit arts based community centre gives visitors an opportunity to view exhibits showcasing new local talent.

THE ORIGINAL BUILDINGS: Lewis House, built in 1885 is the oldest of the three buildings and was the accommodation for Rotorua’s Dr Lewis. In 1908, Wohlmann House was built as accommodation for Dr Arthur Stanley Wohlmann, a renowned balneologist who was the designer and first director of the Bath House (now the Rotorua Museum of Art and History). Make sure to look downwards. The floor of the ambulatory gallery is a mosaic of 350,000 glass tiles in a design by local muralist Marc Spijkerbosch, glued onto 116 pieces of mesh by more than 1600 members of the public over 3500 hours.


Rotorua Museum buildings are undergoing seismic repairs. While the interior of the museum is temporarily closed the exterior is open. The Museum doors may be closed free guided tours outside the walls guided tours that take in the stunning and historic Government Gardens and bath house. Tours depart from Government Gardens.

The Bathhouse, one of attractive landmark of Rotorua city, New Zealand. The another name of bathhouse is Rotorua museum.
The Bathhouse, one of attractive landmark of Rotorua city, New Zealand. The another name of bathhouse is Rotorua museum.
Buried village exacavted whare (Maori dwelling house), Rotorua, New Zealand
Buried village exacavted whare (Maori dwelling house), Rotorua


The entire museum and open air archeological site is about a single day and night when a massive volcanic eruption (Mount Tarawera) blew its top off. The volcanic eruption destroyed the well known geological marvel pink and white terraces, took the lives of 125 people and devastated communities. The personal stories of heroism, of bravery and events are narrated visually with supporting objects and photographs. The collection is not static, the immersive nature of the museum wraps visitors in the terror of the moment and the thoughts and feelings of the people caught up in the events.

The outstanding Rotorua Buried Village is justifiably a highlight of a visit to Rotorua.


Best Bits travel guide is published by Owned and managed by PacificJane Ltd.

Related articles


If you have a query about content, travel deals or anything else, our team is happy to answer all your questions 🙂

    Your information is secure, no third party involved.
    100% Safe, secure, privacy guaranteed. Privacy Policy.