2019 Edition
Activities & Sports
Activities & Sports
Museums in the South

Otago Museums

Otago is a region rich in cultural and natural heritage and as you explore you will find an amazing array of museums, galleries and historic sites that celebrate our past and inspire our future.

An excellent place to start is the Otago Museum's Southern Land, Southern People Gallery - a comprehensive gateway to the natural and human history of the region. This is the place to obtain a wonderful overview and determine the essence of this magnificent part of New Zealand. From there you will be encouraged and inspired to spend more time in the many other quality cultural experiences Otago has to offer.

In the city of Dunedin alone there are a wide variety of 'public collections' easily accessible - from the internationally reputed collections of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, to the fascinating social history of Dunedin at the Otago Settlers Museum. Additionally there is an amazing array of rare books to enjoy at the Dunedin Public Library and the University of Otago Charles Brasch Gallery in the Central Library, and an exceptional collection of New Zealand's written and pictorial heritage at the Hocken Library.

In North Otago you will witness a strong commitment to preservation, from Totara Estate as you near Oamaru, to the superbly redeveloped Historic Precinct close to the town centre. Be sure to enjoy the North Otago Museum and take in the art collection at the Forrester Gallery in this gorgeous township. Head inland to Kurow where a surprising collection of treasures awaits.

Central Otago offers a wealth of culture. Rich in heritage from the goldmining era, truly engaging experiences await at the Lakes District Museum in Arrrowtown, at the Gold Fields Mining Centre near Cromwell and at the Lawrence Area Museum. A delightful selection of small museums and heritage sites can be found as you pass through this beautiful countryside. [Soon enough there will be a new museum to enjoy in Alexandra].

South Otago is well endowed with museums and historic sites worth your time. Follow the Southern Scenic Route and alongside you will find a variety of galleries which can add to your understanding and provide a true sense of how New Zealand came to be as it is. In the heart of the Catlins you will find the Owaka Museum with incredible stories of pioneering kiwis creating a new life.

As you travel around our place, pick up one of the many heritage trail brochures to delve even further into the stories of our region. We welcome you here and hope during your stay you will find a piece of us to take home in your heart.

Southland Museums

Southland people are proud of their heritage for it took people with tenacious spirit and an ability to adapt to make the region what it is today. Exploring the many and varied museums, galleries and heritage places celebrating this spirit of Southland are to be found across the diverse landscape of the province and experiencing and celebrating the past histories along with today's contemporary issues is a great way to start your visit to Southland.

Southland Museum and Art Gallery in Invercargill is the province's principal heritage organisation exhibiting natural, human history and art of the region, changing national and international art exhibitions and Tuatara as part of New Zealand's most successful capture breeding programme of the species. Experience the Subantarctic Islands in the dedicated Roaring 40°S gallery and connect with tangata whenua of the region through the Maori galleries.

Take time, and a picnic, in visiting the Anderson Park Art Gallery in Invercargill, as the gallery is situated in beautiful park settings. Invercargill was once known as the City of Blazes and the newly created Invercargill Fire Museum is also worth a look if you enjoy the history the fire service provides.

Just down the road at Bluff is the Bluff Maritime Museum where a treasure trove of experiences awaits. Take the boat to beautiful Stewart Island where a visit to Rakiura Museum is an unforgettable experience within a cameo of adventure to be found in New Zealand's newest National Park. Travel to Eastern Southland where a rich heritage of new and old is to be found. The Hokonui Moonshine Museum, Eastern Southland Gallery and Money Gallery in the heritage precinct of Gore offer outstanding opportunities to enjoy the history and art of the province and New Zealand. Travel out to Mandeville to experience the extraordinary collection of aircraft at the Croydon Aircraft Museum, perhaps stopping at charming craft and art outlets along the way.

If you travel west out of Invercargill along the Southern Scenic route you'll find a delightful selection of small museums and heritage sites as you drive the coast. In Riverton the Cultural Heritage Museum and up the road Tuatapere Bushmen's Museum have collections and stories well worth your time. Follow the route and you will find numerous smaller galleries and museums which explore the spirit of Southland.

There are many heritage trails sprinkled through the province, each of which will enable you to further understand the stories of the Southland region. Experiencing the culture and heritage of Southland will, we are certain, give you something to treasure for the rest of your life. There is nowhere else in the world like Southland.



Central Stories Museum & Art Gallery
Phone: +64 3 448 6230

21 Centennial Avenue
PO Box 308
Alexandra 9340
Central Otago 




Lakes District Museum
The Lakes District Museum is appropriately set in the historic former goldmining town of Arrowtown. It was established in 1948 in the billiard rooms of the former Ballarat Hotel before moving to its present site in 1955.Over the years it has expanded into an excellent small museum and has received a number of awards recognising this.


The museum has several heritage buildings as part of its complex. They include the original Bank of New Zealand premises, the banks stables and one of the towns original bakers ovens. All of these were built circa 1875. The museum also owns and operates Arrowtown’s historic Post Office and the former Arrowtown goldfields jail.

The museum is essentially a social history museum .Its central focus is the gold rush of 1862 but it also covers Maori moa hunters and greenstone gatherers, the Chinese miners, transport and domestic items. Many of the exhibits are ‘hands on’. A special exhibitions gallery displays art or local history exhibitions that constantly change. A research facility has a substantial collection of photographs and family history information.

The museum also provides information on accommodation, local history and walks and is the booking agent for visitor attractions in Queenstown and Arrowtown. The retail area has a wide selection of books, maps and art prints.

Phone: +64 3 442 1824
Fax: +64 3 442 0835
Address: 49 Buckingham Street
Queenstown and Southern Lakes District
Email: museum@queenstown.co.nz
website: www.museumqueenstown.com
Museum educational site www.handsonhistory.co.nz




South Otago Museum
Phone: +64 3 418 2382

1 Renfrew Street
South Otago 


Sod Cottage
Phone: +64 3 418 2382
Address: State Highway 1
South Otago




Bluff Maritime Museum
Phone: +64 3 212 7534
Fax: +64 3 212 7534
Address: 241 Foreshore Road
Email: bluffmuseum@xtra.co.nzt




Clyde Goldfields Museum
Phone: +64 3 449 2571
Address: 5 Blyth Street
Central Otago


Clyde Historical Museum
Hours: Tues-Sun 2pm-4pm
Phone: +64 3 449 2938
Address: 12 Fraser Street
Central Otago


Briar Herbs Museum
Phone: +64 3 449 2938
Address: Clyde
Cental Otago




Old Cromwell Town
Phone: +64 3 445 1746
Address: Melmore Terrace
Cental Otago




de Beer Gallery
Phone: +64 3 479 8330
Fax: +64 3 479 8947
Address: 65 Albany Street
Email: special.collections@library.otago.ac.nz
Website: www.library.otago.ac.nz/resources/speccoll.html


Discovery World
Phone: +64 3 474 7474
Fax: +64 3 477 5993
Address: 419 Great King Street
Email: discoverworld@otagomuseum.govt.nz
Website: www.discoveryworld.co.nz


For more information on Otago Museum

Dunedin Public Art Gallery
Phone: +64 3 474 3240
Fax: +64 3 474 3250
Address: 30 The Octagon
Email: dpagmail@dcc.govt.nz
Website: www.dunedin.art.museum


Engine House Dunedin Gasworks Museum
Address: Braemar Street
South Dunedin


First Church Heritage Centre
Address: 415 Moray Place
Phone: +64 3 477 7150
Fax: +64 3 477 7150

Historic Fort Taiaroa

Phone: +64 3 478 0499
Fax: +64 3 478 0575
Address: Taiaroa Head
Otago Peninsula
Email: reservations@albatross.org.nz
website: www.albatross.org.nz



Hocken Collection Uare Taoka o Häkena
Phone: +64 3 479 8868
Fax: +64 3 479 5078
Address: Corner Anzac Avenue & Parry Street
Email: hocken@library.otago.ac.nz
website: www.library.otago.ac.nz/libs/hocken/index.html< /a>


Larnach Castle
Phone: +64 3 476 1616
Fax: +64 3 476 1574
Address: 145 Camp Road
Otago Peninsula
Email: larnach@larnachcastle.co.nz
Website: www.larnachcastle.co.nz


New Zealand Marine Studies Centre
Phone: +64 3 479 5826
Address: Hatchery Road
Otago Peninsula
website: www.otago.ac.nz/MarineStudies


New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame
Phone: +64 3 477 7775
Fax: +64 3 477 7762
Address: Railway Station
Anzac Avenue
Email: ron.p@clear.net.nz
website: www.nzhalloffame.co.nz


Olveston Historic Home
Phone: +64 3 477 3320
Fax: +64 3 479 2094
Address: 42 Royal Terrace
Email: olveston@xtra.co.nz
website: www.olveston.co.nz

Spend a magical hour absorbing the atmosphere in tEntrancehe Theomin family’s historic home, Olveston.

Be transported to an era of fine living, grace and style. Gain an insight into the daily running of an early 20th-century household of quality.

From garden to great hall, the Olveston collection is a visual, historic and aesthetic delight.
Olveston welcomes you seven days a week.

Reservations are required for one-hour guided tours which commence at 9.30am and 10.45am, 12 noon, 1.30pm, 2.45pm and 4.00pm daily (except Christmas Day).

Olveston is an eloquent expression of one man’s dream. A tour of Olveston allows an intimate glimpse of the lifestyle of a privileged family in the early 1900’s. It reflects a lifestyle enjoyed by just a few, but represents a most important piece in the mosaic of early New Zealand life as a whole.

Visitors are very conscious of the family throughout the home, enjoying and experiencing the many treasures that were an integral part of the family’s day-to-day life. Olveston captures this lifestyle completely. There is no more accurate or definitive example in New Zealand .
Olveston was designed for David Theomin by London architect, Sir Ernest George (1839-1922) and built between 1904 and 1906. The Jacobean style grace and grandeur of Olveston is distinguished by a wealth of decorative detail. It possessed a service lift linking all four storeys. The house was centrally heated and had an internal telephone system.

Olveston provided the Theomin family with the perfect setting to entertain both professional and personal friends. Seven servants were employed to service the 35 rooms and to manicure the acre of beautiful garden. The home is sited in the inner city and is within walking distance from the city centre.

David Theomin was born in Bristol , England in 1852. He was the son of a Jewish minister. He attended grammar school for three years in Bristol , in England . His working life began in 1865 as an apprentice to a merchant trading out of Bristol . David continued to work in the mercantile world until 1874, when he set out for Melbourne, Australia.

It was in Melbourne he married Marie, daughter of Moritz Michaelis, and at the end of 1879, the newly-weds had moved to New Zealand to establish a home in Dunedin.
Drawing Room
During the 1880’s David Theomin established himself as a very successful businessman, developing the mercantile firm of Benjamin and Company and opening branches of his Dresden Piano Company throughout New Zealand . His new-found success was shared with the community, particularly the Dunedin Public Art Gallery . This support complemented his passion for art. By 1900 his distinctive, enthusiastic style for collecting art, typical of the late Victorian era, was at its height.

David Theomin continued an active life until 1933. He worked tirelessly to produce the financial resources required to build and maintain Olveston. His wide interests in the arts also included a passion for music. He was a member of the Royal Dunedin Male Choir. He was also involved with the affairs of the Dunedin Synagogue and worked hard in the interests of the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce, the Shipwreck Relief Society and the Patients and Prisoners Aid Society. David died at the age of 81.

Marie Theomin, (née Michaelis) was 24 when she married David Theomin. She ran her household with efficiency and was known as a ‘firm but kindly lady’. She was very active in the newly formed Plunket Society, originated for the care of mothers and their babies. Her husband also shared this interest. Her involvement continued until her death in 1926. The Theomin family were very community driven and during the First World War Mr and Mrs Theomin both served on the Otago Patriotic Council.
The Theomin’s only son Edward was born in 1885. Edward was destined to follow in his father’s footsteps but the Great War intervened and Edward was soon fighting for his country in France . After the war he married Ethyl Moccatta in London before returning to Dunedin . It was a childless marriage. The war had taken its toll and by 1924 his health began to decline. He survived his mother by only two years, dying in 1928.

The Theomin’s only daughter, Dorothy, was born in 1888 and began her education in Dunedin . This was completed at Roedean, in England . After the death of her father in 1933 Dorothy was the only member of the immediate family still living.
Great Hall
Dorothy Michaelis Theomin died at the age of 77 on the 11th of October 1966, surviving her father by 33 years. It was revealed at the reading of her will that she bequeathed Olveston, with all its contents and an annual estate income, to the City Of Dunedin . It took twelve months of hard work by her many friends to pave the way for Olveston to become the historic family home that visitors enjoy today.

For more information on Olveston


Otago Museum

Phone: +64 3 474 7474
Fax: +64 3 474 5993
Address: 419 Great King Street
Email: mail@otagomuseum.govt.nz
website: www.otagomuseum.govt.nz

Welcome to one of the world's best museums! 

Just a few minutes from the city centre, you’ll discover the richness and vibrancy of the southern region through outstanding collections covering culture, nature and science. Whether you have an hour to spare or a day to enjoy, you'll find something to inspire, enlighten or excite you within the variety of exhibitions awaiting. 

Get hands-on in Discovery World, with exciting experiments and engaging exhibits for visitors of all ages. Then, encounter a rainforest teeming with tropical life… the Tropical Forest awaits you, with its lush gardens and live butterflies. A magical must-see! 

Don’t leave Dunedin without seeing the city’s most visited attraction. 

Entry to the Otago Museum is by donation. Admission charges apply for Discovery World Tropical Forest. Open 7 days, 10am-5pm. Closed Christmas Day.

Musuem Cafe Maori Culture and Heritage OPacific Gallery
Discovery World Natures Gallery Butterflies

For a map or more information on Otago Museum

Otago Peninsula Museum and Historic Society

Phone: +64 3 478 0255
Fax: +64 3 478 0913
Address: Portobello
Otago Peninsula



Otago Settlers Museum
Phone: +64 3 477 5052
Fax: +64 3 474 2727
Address: 31 Queens Gardens
Email: osmmail@dcc.govt.nz
website: www.otago.settlers.museum


Port Chalmers Museum
Phone: +64 3 472 8233
Address: Beach Street
Port Chalmers
Email: pcmuseum@xtra.co.nz




Matanaka Farm Buildings
Phone: +64 3 477 9871
Address: Private Road (off Edinburgh Street)
North Otago


Waikouaiti Coast Heritage Centre
Address: Main Road
East Otago
Website: www.wchc.org.nz




Vanished World Centre
Phone: +64 3 431 2024
Fax: +64 3 431 2026
Address: State Highway 83
Waitaki Valley
Website: www.vanishedworld.co.nz  


For more information on Vanished World Centre



Glenorchy Museum
Phone: +64 3 442 9952
Address: Islay Street
Open: By appointment only



Gore Airforce Museum
Phone: +64 3 208 5354
Cell: +64 25 263 5862
Address: 43 Maitland Street


Eastern Southland Gallery
Phone: +64 3 208 9907
Fax: +64 3 208 9968
Address: Corner Norfolk Street & Hokonui Drive
Email: jgeddes@goredc.govt.nz


For more information on Eastern Southland Gallery

Hokonui Heritage Centre
Phone: +64 3 208 9288
Address: Corner Norfolk Street & Hokonui Drive
Email: goreinfo@goredc.govt.nz


Hokonui Moonshine Museum
Phone: +64 3 203 9288
Address: Corner Norfolk Street & Hokonui Drive
Email: goreinfo@goredc.govt.nz


Hokonui Pioneer Park
Phone: +64 3 208 7168
Address: Waimea Street

For more information on Hokonui Moonshine Museum




Anderson Park Art Gallery
Phone: +64 3 215 7432
Fax: +64 3 215 7472
Address: 91 McIvor Road
Email: andersonparkgallery@xtra.co.nz
Website: www.andersonparkgallery.co.nz


Hospital Museum Southland
Phone: +64 3 218 1949
Address: Kew Road (Old Hospital Entry)


Southland Museum and Art Gallery
Phone: +64 3 219 9069
Fax: +64 3 218 3872
Address: Gala Street
Queens Park
Email: office@southlandmuseum.co.nz
Website: www.southlandmuseum.com




Upper Waitaki Pioneer Museum & Gallery
Address: Bledisloe Street
North Otago




Tuapeka Goldfields Museum
Phone: +64 3 485 9222
Fax: +64 3 485 9222
Address: 17 Ross Place
South Otago
Email: lawrence.infocentre@xtra.co.nz




Clarks Mill
Phone: +64 3 434 7169 
Address: State Highway 1
North Otago

 For more information on Clarks Mill



Clematis Cottage
Phone: +64 3 203 8529
Address: Mataura




Middlemarch Nuseum
Address: Aberafon St
Strath Taieri




Tokomairiro Museum
Phone: +64 3 417 7480
Address: 53 Union Street
South Otago
Email: miltoninfo@xtra.co.nz




North Otago Museum
Phone: +64 3 433 0852
Address: 60 Thames Street
North Otago
Email: museum@waitaki.govt.nz
Website: www.northotagomuseum.co.nz

Where there are riches there are people; & where there are people, stories flow… 
The Museum is situated in the historic 1882 Athenæum building and has a collection that reflects the natural and social history of the Waitaki District. The Willetts’ Collection of Waitaha taoka, along with early examples of Mâori rock art and the areas unique geology form the heart of the Museum’s displays.
For more information see The North Otago Museum.

Oamaru Auto Collection

Phone: +64 3 434 1556
Address: The Woolstore Complex
1 Tyne Street
North Otago



The Forrester Gallery
Phone: +64 3 434 1653
Address: 9 Thames Street
North Otago
Email: info@forrestergallery.com
Website: www.forrestergallery.com


For more information on Forrester Gallery

Totara Estate
Phone: +64 3 434 7169
Address: State Highway 1
North Otago
Email: totaraestate@historic.org.nz
website: www.totaraestate.co.nz


For more information on Totara Estate



Ophir Post Office
Phone: +64 3 447 3738
Address: Swindon St
Central Otago




Taieri Historical Museum
Phone: +64 3 486 2701
Address: State Highway 87
Taieri Plain
Email: neil.gamble@xtra.co.nz




Hayes Engineering Works
Phone: +64 3 444 5801 (Afther Hours) +64 3 444 5817
Address: Hayes Road
Central Otago




Owaka Museum
Phone: +64 3 415 8323
Address: 10 Campbell Street
South Otago
Email: deversons@actrix.co.nz or




Maniototo Early Settlers Museum


Phone: +64 3 444 9558
Address: Earne Street
Central Otago




Ranfurly Display Centre
Address: Charlemont Street
Central Otago




Riversdale Tractor Museum


Phone: +64 3 202 5710
Fax: +64 3 202 5712
Address: Riversdale




Midlands Farm - Roundhill
Phone: +64 3 234 9004
Address: Midlands Farm
Colac Bay


The Cultural Heritage Museum

Bringing the South Coast's history alive

The South's ultimate heritage attraction, just 25 minutes from Invercargill on the Southern Scenic Route.

Begin your voyage on board our sailing ship theatre. Relive memorable episodes from our rich bicultural past, set where the wild South Coast cuts deep into the Roaring Forties.

Take an interactive journey through Te Hikoi, featuring authentic displays, adventurous characters and engaging stories. These reveal how our Maori and European ancestors adapted to survive on nature's edge.

Gain insight into the seasonal lifestyle of early Maori, the privation of early sealers and the perilous adventures of shore whalers who forged and enduring peace with Maori through intermarriage and enterprise.

Stunning 16 minute movie * Interactive displays * DON'T miss it!

Information Centre: Agents for Real Journeys, accommodation and activities, retail and cafeteria.

Opening Hours: 10am to 5pm daily (admission charges apply)
Genealogy Research -- Giftshop

Phone: +64 3 234 8260
Freephone: +64 0800 834 4564
Fax: +64 3 234 8520
Address: 172 Palmerston Street
Postal Address: Visitor Information Centre
Email: tehikoi@xtra.co.nz
Website: www.tehikoi.co.nz


Stewart Island


Rakiura Museum
Phone: +64 3 219 1049
Fax: +64 3 219 1022
Address: Stewart Island
Email: sthtravel@southnet.co.nz




West Otago Museum
Address: Northumberland Street
West Otago


Te Anau


Fiordland Museum Trust
Phone: +64 3 249 9080
Address: Te Anau




Thornbury Vintage Tractor and Implement Club
Phone: +64 3 234 8832 or
+64 3 234 8827 or
+64 3 224 6211
Address: Thornbury




Bushman's Museum
Phone: +64 3 226 6399
Fax: +64 3 226 6074
Address: 31 Orawia Road
Email: reinfo@es.co.nz




Waikaia Museum and Bottle Store
Phone: +64 3 202 7746 or +64 3 202 7809
Fax: +64 3 202 7837
Address: Blaydon Street




Waikawa Districts Museums
Phone: +64 3 246 8464
Address: Waikawa
South Catlins
Email: waikawa.museum@hypernet.co.nz




New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum
Phone: +64 3 443 7010
Fax: +64 3 443 7011
Address: Wanaka Airport(9Km from Wanaka)
Central Otago
Email: nzfpm@skyshow.co.nz
Website: www.nzfpm.co.nz


Wanaka Transport & Toy Museum
Phone: +64 3 443 8765
Address: State Highway 6(Beside the Wanaka Airport, 9 KM from Wanaka)
Central Otago
Email: museum@wttmuseum.com
website: www.wanakatransportandtoymuseum.com




Wyndham Museum
Phone: +64 3 206 4462 or +64 3 206 4670
Address: Wyndham


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