Te Aroha & District museum

Presenting the history of our town and district in ways that recognise and explain our shared past, as the foundation of our future

Look who came to visit ...

The Museum was recently delighted to host a visit from the World War Two Historical Reenactment Society New Zealand Inc  who came to look specifically at our Home Guard display.

From left to right:  Mark Purdy dressed in WW2 Airforce uniform (Sir Keith Park who ran the RAF fighter group for the Battle of Britain who was born in Thames, Coromandel); Mike Jenner in a representation of WW2 Home Guard uniform; Philip Hobbs in a representation of WW2 Home Guard uniform; and Jordon Harris as a WW2 New Zealand desert soldier.  It was a pleasure to welcome such a committed group. 

The Museum is happy to host groups of any size and welcomes all enquiries.  

Read about the display in the February issue of Coast and Country  on pages 20 and 21

The Te Aroha and District Museum Society Inc presents the history of the district through thousands of artefacts and extensive displays of historic photos; early Maori relics; gold mining days; early settlers; business and development; the Domain; and the town's rich spa history through which the story of Te Aroha, the district and its people is told.

The Museum's home, for the last 53 years, is the Cadman Bath House sitting splendidly at the top of the Domain and along with the other buildings at its side it forms the only complete Edwardian Domain remaining in New Zealand.  The Bath House opened in 1898 and was the first building commissioned especially for tourists - Te Aroha is hailed as "the birth place of tourism in New Zealand". 

In 1971 the Te Aroha Mayor Henry Skidmore began the Museum.   From humble beginnings the Museum has grown to be a vibrant place of interest and is constantly developing both through extending its collection and methods of display.  The Museum is proud to showcase a great number of its artefacts, along with photographs and the stories behind the objects and people of Te Aroha and its surrounding districts.

"Taking the waters" is a wonderful DVD by author Kevin Wells which provides a fascinating history of the spa days and the Domain, narrated by actor Ian Harrop.  This DVD will take you on a journey of discovery and is available for viewing at any time at the Museum, it's a great place to start your visit.


Take our full immersion virtual reality tour here and get a flavour of what our Museum is all about.

"A lovely gem to explore"

From a couple visiting from Canada in January


Volunteers have added to, created and refreshed many displays recently at the Museum including: the Power display; the Hot Springs; Pioneer Days; Sporting Heroes; Spa History; Honouring our People - and there are more new displays in development.