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
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 51 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 Te Aroha Mayor Henry Skidmore began the Museum; the first recorded item was a humble, but worthy, farm plough (still on display). The Museum continues 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.
Comment left by a couple from Tauranga in our Visitor's Book (April 2022):
"The best little Museum in New Zealand".
Take our full immersion virtual reality tour
here ... step inside
It is always lovely to hear the piano being played at the Museum.
Everyone is welcome to try out the piano when they visit, we love to hear it being played.