The Mercury Bay Museum is proud to present a range of historic displays:

Special Feature

Introducing our latest display, In Our Backyard

In Our Backyard takes visitors on a tour through our backyard space highlighting the animals and creatures that reside here.  It is also an opportunity to learn about some of the natural history of our area and learn a little more about our off-shore islands too.

There is a microscope to look at up close, a map lightbox for you to plan a walk in our backyard and a selection of the shells that you will find on a beachcombing adventure!! Once in the space you will be immersed in the sound of the dawn chorus – stand and listen and wonder what it would have been like to hear that in 1769 when Captain James Cook and his crew described it as deafening.

There is also our ‘mea mīharo – wondrous things’ cabinet – in here we have skeletons and other taonga – can you guess what they are?

Twelve Days - 1769

Looks at events as noted by Cook and Banks in their journals and the traditional oral history of Ngāti Hei. They will be reflected by twelve objects for twelve days.

Coastal Shipping

The most important of these is HMS Buffalo, a ship with a colourful history. The museum has a wide range of artifacts from the Buffalo on display.

The History of Fishing

Unique displays that emphasise the passion the people of Mercury Bay have for the marine environment and fishing, both recreational and commercial.

A Dairy History

This exhibit houses the only known Anderson Butter Churn to still be in its working space.

Kauri Logging & Gum Digging

Our Kauri Room displays many artifacts to illustrate this important period in our history.

Gumtown School

The Blacksmith’s Workplace

This realistic exhibit containing many of the tools used by blacksmith, Billy Keane.

In Our Backyard

Take a walk through Cathedral Cove and the bush to see the (past & present) native birds, animals and predators that inhabit our region.

Agricultural Exhibit

Our new Agricultural Exhibit was opened in October 2018.

Become a Volunteer


If you would like to volunteer to be part of our front-of-house team welcoming visitors to the museum, read our volunteer programme fact sheet and download our application form from the link below.