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Discover what's new at the Kauri Museum

Temporary exhibitions run throughout the year. Keep an eye out for your annual favourites, Matariki, ANZAC Day and the Heritage Christmas displays.

Allow two to three hours to explore this engrossing museum complex. The Museum grounds also include the original Pioneer Church, School and Post Office.


We are very excited to have opened a spectacular new attraction at the Museum – the Forest Walkway.

The first and largest part of a multi-phase redevelopment, the new walkway features a forest of tall light box “trees” which visitors pass through after entering the Museum. Alive with a natural soundscape of bird song and sounds from the native bush, the Walkway takes visitors back in time to the Jurassic era when kauri emerged in Gondwanaland. It introduces the Māori dimension of the story and, in particular, the story of Tane Mahuta and the creation of the world of light.

Entering through the walkway, the height, sound and light give a “wow” factor, to the Museum, creating a sense of awe and the scale and ancientness of kauri.

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60 Items celebrating 60 years of the Kauri Museum

The size and scale of the Museum mean it’s nearly impossible to take everything in. Individual items can be easily overlooked, dwarfed by machinery or tucked into the far corner of an exhibit.  

This 60th anniversary exhibition brings together 60 items that help tell our unique story.

Until April 2023

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Every school holidays we have an Object Hunt, where visitors young and old can explore the Museum, looking for some of our most special or unusual items, some of which changed the lives of the people who used them, and see some of the history of the families of Northland.


For the first time we are now able to give the chance to explore the Museum and take part  in an Object Hunt from where ever you are, at any time, with our new virtual tours. 


The Object Hunt is specially for Primary school aged children.

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Object Hunt
Forest Walkway
Saw Mill


The Museum includes a full sized sawmill, which moves at slow speed so visitors can get up close to see how the mill works.

Steam Engine in the Kauri Museum Sawmill


The Smith Wing shows huge kauri logs and has actual equipment for felling trees, transporting logs, milling timber and collecting kauri gum. 

Kauri Logs
Smith Wing
Sterling Wing


The Sterling Wing showcases a fascinating recreation of a quality 1880-1920 six room home, fully furnished with original decor and lifelike models dressed in period costume – wall to wall with authentic furniture, fittings and ornaments. The Sterling Wing is typical of how kauri timber was used for building homes and for making beautiful furniture, and features many valuable Northland heritage pieces.

Kauri Museum antique furniture


Our life-size recreation of a two storey boarding house sits inside the museum. As well as providing accomodation, boarding houses provided an important focal point for local commerce, enabling visiting professionals such as dentists and bankers to set up shop and service the local community.The mannequins and lifelike models featured throughout the museum are based on real people. The Boarding House includes a photographic tribute to the boarding houses of the Northland region.

Historic Boarding House Northland
Boarding House
Totara House

Totara House is a magnificent 1896 kauri villa set in beautiful heritage gardens, lived in and faithfully preserved for more than 120 years by the family of George and Emily Smith.

Kauri Museum Historic Totara House


Erected in1866-67 this beautifully preserved kauri timber church is set in stunning heritage rose gardens with a view over rolling pastures. 

Kauri Museum pioneer church
Pioneer Church
Post Office


Open daily - FREE ENTRY.

From 1909 to 1988 the Matakohe Post Office acted as a centre for the local community. The building itself was built from kauri milled locally. Services offered at the Post Office included postal, banking, telephone, marriage licenses, and official government applications.


The Post Office display features dressed models and original equipment. It includes a fascinating exhibition of old telephones and the manual telephone exchange in the Postmaster’s Residence.

Kauri Museum Historic Post Office


Early education began in Matakohe in 1878 and the Museum’s Pioneer School was Matakohe’s first school building. The school is complete with desks, pens, books, maps and more.

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School House
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