Waikato Museum’s exhibitions, events and programmes tell our stories from a regional and global perspective, and include visual art, social history, tangata whenua and science from touring exhibitions, and the museum’s own collections.
On the banks of the Waikato River, in the heart of Hamilton’s south-end cultural precinct, Waikato Museum’s 13 galleries feature more than 25 new exhibitions and 100 public events annually. Through this interactive programme we aim to engage and inspire our local and international visitors.
Highlights include the majestic war waka Te Winika, the fun hands-on science galleries for children; and our galleries which exhibit a rich blend of artworks.
Since the year 2000, Waikato Museum has hosted the National Contemporary Art Award. The award, held annually is curated by a new judge every year and culminates in an annual exhibition which documents a snapshot of New Zealand contemporary art.
Waikato Museum in its current building was opened in 1987. The architect was the late Ivan Mercep of JASMaD (now Jasmax), Auckland, the same architect who went on to design New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa. Mercep was awarded a prestigious Gold Medal by the Institute of Architects (June 2008) for his notable career.
Photography, filming and videoing
Please take photographs of yourself, friends, and family while at the Museum. However, to respect the copyright of artists and makers, please refrain from taking direct photographs of artwork on display. Specific exhibitions and items not to be photographed are indicated with signage. Ask our visitor hosts if you are unsure.