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


Mercury Bay Museum Blog

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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.


Nocturnal Friends

Friday 19th July 2024 5:30pm – 7:00pm

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...

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. ...

What’s the point of museums?

I recently read an article in the New Zealand Geographic titled, “What’s the Point of Museums?” Written by Mike Dickason article really gave me some perspective on my job as manager of a museum. We get lot of queries about why certain artifacts are not being displayed...

The Museum is Turning 40!

Article first published in The Informer With Christmas only a few weeks away, thoughts tend to turn towards the upcoming festivities and our social calendars move into higher gear. Here at the Mercury Bay Museum we are ready to celebrate as well as the Museum is...

Twelve Days – 1769

It has begun!! We have started the work on our new exhibit ‘Twelve Days – 1769’ and in fact as you read this the main ‘bones’ of the exhibit is complete and now it’s the pretty design stuff to do.

New HMS Buffalo Exhibit

The Mercury Bay Museum in Whitianga has recently unveiled a new HMS Buffalo exhibit. Work on the exhibit began in February this year and was completed at the end of June. “Myself and my volunteer team have been working hard over the last few months to put together the...