Opening Times
10am to 3pm*
Closed Sundays
Last admission 2.15pm
* except Christmas/Boxing Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Anzac Day.

Adults $12.50/Local Adult $10
NZ Gold Card (Senior) $10
Student (15-18 years) $10
Children Under 14 are free with an accompanying adult
Groups 10+ please contact us re your visit.

Bringing you face to face with our heritage

With exhibits about the Polynesian navigator Kupe, Maori artifacts, the Endeavour and James Cook, HMS Buffalo (sunk 1840), kauri timber and gum, the old dairy factory in which the museum is housed, early settlers’ records, natural history, fishing displays and a wonderful photographic collection.
Mercury bay Museum Exhibitions


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How You Can Get Involved

Help support the Museum by becoming a Friend of the Museum or a Volunteer

Volunteer Program

Be part of the front-of-house team welcoming visitors to the museum,

Friends of the Museum

When you become a Friend of the Museum you are supporting us in the protection and preservation of our collection.

Come Visit Our Amazing New Exhibition!


This new exhibit is a blast from the past and will reignite familiar memories from many locals and visitors to the area. It is a nod to the Old School Room Exhibit that the museum closed in 2021, the local general store and haberdashery shop.

HMS Buffalo RP Logo-01
Martin Davies 2023 winner avenir


The HMS Buffalo Re-examination Project aims to complete a detailed site survey to provide an accurate interpretation of the HMS Buffalo shipwreck site located in Whitianga, New Zealand.


Matariki Whanau Day

Friday 28th June 2024

Murder at the Museum!!

Saturday 22nd June 6pm – 8pm @ The Museum


A kid-friendly archaeology resource kit is being launched today as part of New Zealand Archaeology Week (April 27-May 5).

Archaeology for kids

A kid-friendly archaeology resource kit is being launched today as part of New Zealand Archaeology Week (April 27-May 5). Collated by Dr Rosemary Baird, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Senior Outreach Advisor, based in Christchurch, the kit will be available on...


MERCURY BAY MUSEUM JOINS CAMPAIGN TO SAVE MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES. Today Mercury Bay Museum joined a nationwide campaign to emphasise the value of galleries and museums in Aotearoa New Zealand, and highlight the existential risks they’re facing. The campaign is a result...

HMS Buffalo, digitally preserved and displayed for the first time

In July 1840, the British naval ship, HMS Buffalo, took shelter in Mercury Bay, Whitianga, New Zealand to weather out an incoming storm. When the storm hit, it was described as ‘hurricane strength’ and resulted in the vessel becoming a total loss on what is now known...

March Overview

The Museum has been a little quiet lately with a reduced number of visitors. The visitors that are still coming through however have travelled from some distances – Whanganui, Nelson and Christchurch just to name a few. So New Zealanders are still travelling around...

Covid Update

On Monday 22nd November 2021, the Government announced its intention to move Aotearoa New Zealand into the COVID-19 Protection Framework from Thursday 2nd December 2021 at 11:59pm. With this move to the framework the Mercury Bay Museum has today confirmed that it will...

After the Storm

It has been a busy time at the Museum recently with arrival of not one or two, but now six pieces of timber that we believe are from the shipwreck HMS Buffalo. Over the weekend of 28th May we received a total of five timbers that were collected from the beach with the...

HMS Buffalo’s cannon or carronade?

Located in the Soldiers Memorial Park, Whitianga, sits a cast-iron ordnance that is semi-encased in a contemporary concrete support. Two plaques on the front of the concrete base read that it is the cannon from HMS Buffalo, yet it almost looks too short and stumpy to...

HMS Buffalo Re-examination Project Update

The HMS Buffalo Re-examination Project is crossing its fingers for fine weather and smooth seas this coming weekend.  A team of 10 volunteer divers led by maritime archaeologists Matthew Gainsford and Kurt Bennett will be surveying the wreck over the two days. ...