In 1840, the nation’s founding document was signed in Waitangi. The Treaty Grounds features Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi, Te Rau Aroha Museum, the Treaty House, the carved Meeting House, a carving studio and the world’s largest ceremonial war canoe.
Visitors to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds purchase a Day Pass that includes a guided tour (50 minutes), a Māori cultural performance (30 minutes) including a powerful haka, entry to the two museums (Te Kōngahu & Te Rau Aroha), the Treaty House, the carved Meeting House, and the world’s largest ceremonial war canoe.
Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi opened in February 2016 and tells the story of Māori and European contact and the ongoing development of New Zealand as a nation. The history of Waitangi is brought to life through world class exhibitions using interactive technology.
A new museum, Te Rau Aroha, opened on 5 February 2020. Te Rau Aroha commemorates the service and sacrifice of Māori in the NZ Armed Forces in times of conflict, especially the Pioneer Battalion in World War I and 28 (Māori) Battalion in World War II.
The first gallery tells the story of the Māori commitment to the armed forces. It includes exhibitions on the New Zealand Wars and the Boer War, with a strong focus on the Pioneer Battalion of World War I and the 28 (Māori) Battalion of World War II. The second gallery is dedicated to the 28 (Māori) Battalion’s A Company, most of whom hailed from Northland. It tells the personal stories of the soldiers and their families. The third gallery acts as a contemplative Whare Maumahara (house of memories) for visitors, descendants and whānau.
Hāngi & Concert evenings are scheduled from 1 October to the 30th April. A themed intimate experience not to be missed.
The award-winning Treaty Grounds is a must-do for all visitor to the Bay of Islands.