Mercury Bay Museum, Whitianga

Mercury Bay Museum Whitianga



11a The Esplanade


October School Holidays
Please note that we are closed the first week of the school holiday

Summer Hours (October- June)
Open seven days: 10am-4pm

Winter Hours (July-September)
Open Tuesday - Sunday: 10am-3pm

Closed Christmas Day, Good Friday and ANZAC Day.

What to Expect

For everyone interested in tales of early navigation, discovery, maritime disasters, great explorers, early settlers, machinery or natural history. The Whitianga museum is housed in the original 1937 Dairy Factory is a great place to become absorbed in some of the fascinating history of Mercury Bay.
The Museum in Whitianga has a range of Maori and European artifacts and colourful award winning exhibits that will delight all ages. Come and enjoy a trip through history and time in this Museum which is rich in history and will reward you with a greater appreciation of the Mercury Bay.

Admission Prices
  • Adults $7.50
  • Seniors, Locals & Students $6
  • Children (5-16) $2 (under 5 free )
  • Families $15.00
Mercury Bay Museum Displays and Exhibits
The museum has an intriguing range of exhibits to view including:
  • Polynesian navigator Kupe
  • Endeavour and Captain James Cook (the screening room also features a short film on the "Twelve days - Captain Cook in Mercury Bay) 
  • hipwrecks in the Bay- HMS Buffalo (which sunk in Mercury Bay 1840)
  • Natural history display
  • History of fishing 
  • Kauri timber and kauri gum
  • Dairy Factory (in which the museum is housed)
  • 1953 School room • Whitianga Blacksmith's workplace in 1900
  • Agricultural and Machinery Display The museum also holds some important Maori artifacts, a collection of early settler records and an extensive photographic collection.
Museum Shop
Our Mercury Bay Museum shop has a great range of local and NZ merchandise.  Get a perfect local gift from our shop.  
  • Hot local book item to buy - Saltspray and Sawdust by Janet Riddell.
Captain James Cook Commemorations 2019
Cook 250 commemorations will be taking place in 2019.  The Mercury Bay Museum will be part of these celebrations. 

Volunteering at the Museum
We have a great volunteer team that we invite you to be part of. If you would like to join our team as a volunteer to meet and greet visitors, research or work on our displays - contact our Museum Manager.

Museum exhibits  and displays in the heart of Whitianga!


Shipwrecks in the Mercury Bay
The Mill Workers Cottage
Lieutenant (later Captain) James Cook’s 12 days in Mercury Bay
Huge factory butter churn, as well as milking shed equipment
Chaffcutter in kauri logging and gum digging display
Kauri logs and hand saws
The Whitianga Blacksmith’s workplace in 1900
Mercury Bay Museum Project Achievement Award for History of Fishing display


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This is a stunning museum packed full of fantastic exhibits and treasures to be explored! The museum staff and volunteers are always so helpful - keep up the great work.


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