Western Bay Museum
Western Bay Museum
4.5
History Museums
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11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sunday
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
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About
Inside the instantly recognisable historic Old Fire Station in Katikati, you will discover the only museum in the Bay of Plenty and one of Aotearoa’s hidden-gems. With high-quality interactive exhibitions and fun tour-experiences, we bring to life the pioneering spirit of the local Māori, Ulster Irish and all other settlers who together built this area. Welcoming and knowledgeable volunteer guides recount the tales of storm-ridden ocean voyages, adventurers and entrepreneurs and the determination and struggles that formed the foundations of the Western Bay of Plenty. Visit us today (we’re perfect for a quick stop) or book one of our unique and memorable tour-experiences that will take you on a journey back to the 1900s. Ideal for kids and adults alike. Come and discover why the Western Bay Museum is Aotearoa’s best small museum.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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  • Elizabeth W
    2 contributions
    Great insights into local environment & history
    The museum felt like a community hub for connecting with riverside plantings, rongoa garden, settler history, & Maori taonga from around the Western Bay. Knowledgeable staff made visitors welcome. Joined up with nice river walk through Haiku Park too. A great start to my visit to Katikati.
    Traveled solo
    Written July 26, 2022
  • FernAces6
    Hamilton, New Zealand55 contributions
    Little gem
    Didn’t expect much when we walked in with 3 kids aged 9-16. However we spent over 90mins there. The volunteer who met us at the door was so welcoming & full of information. Told us all about the Maori artifacts in the front of museum & the history of Tuhua/ Mayor island. They left us to explore the museum. Kids practices morse code, saw the old typewriters work, the old gramophone & vinyl record players all in perfect working order. Such a pleasantly good morning spent walking down memory lane. Thanks 😊
    Traveled with family
    Written January 17, 2021
  • Tess041
    Tauranga, New Zealand212 contributions
    What a Gem!
    I have to admit to not thinking there would be much inside this museum as the town is relatively small. How wrong was I?! This place is a real gem. Very well laid out, clear and bright information panels & cases and excellent exhibits. The current Kauri one was brilliant - photos, saws, part of the dam, it was so informative. In the other side of the museum is where the school programmes are held. A new 'old fashioned' Aga stove where scones are baked, old telephones and exchange board linked to the telephone boxes outside so kids can understand and reinact how it all used to work. Microscopes, insects, rocks, farming, so much to see. This place is definitely worth a look and it is so nice to see how passionate the local volunteers are to keep the local history alive.
    Written September 28, 2019
These reviews are the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews for fraud.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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HelenJG786
Lyttelton, New Zealand627 contributions
Jul 2017 • Couples
Full marks to lovely volunteer who welcomed us. Place is small but immaculately presented with little classroom for school children to have a taste of life in years gone by. Noticed the dominance of colonial pakeha life. Would like to see it balanced with more about tangata whenua.
Written July 26, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Brain Watkins House Museum
Tauranga, New Zealand1 contribution
Feb 2020
was welcomed very warmly by her and other Volunteer and because I was there is a somewhat official capacity as a member of a sister museum got the quick and free guided tour of the current exhibition . it was SO professionally done .
Written March 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

hjmfly
Leogang, Austria12 contributions
Nov 2019
The manager and curator, Paula Gaelic, surprised us with a awsome tour through the exhibition with explanations to the history of the first immigrants and their relationship to the Maori. We enjoyed the museum and the conversation afterwards. Thank you Paula! Dearest regards Claudia & Hans
Written December 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jenny L
Katikati, New Zealand44 contributions
Jun 2019 • Couples
This museum changes it's displays every now and then. We called in to see & learn all about the cutting down of the kauri in the area back in the late 1800's. Found it very interesting and could not believe the size of the biggest kauri that they cut down. And the way one gentleman encouraged several families to come to Katikati, NZ to work on the kauri. He did this on several trips from England. Staff were most helpful and willing to show you things.
Written July 2, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

tel8
Auckland, New Zealand179 contributions
Apr 2019 • Solo
Great little museum with some interesting collections. Inc some recent history ie in my memory. Several interactive items
Written April 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Wendi and Nick
11 contributions
Dec 2018 • Family
Small local museum- great spot to visit. Locals volunteer, so knowledgeable and friendly - cute little town
Written December 14, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Adrian H
1 contribution
Oct 2018 • Solo
Helpful staff, professionally organized exhibits, with uncluttered displays of early Maori stone implements and displays of home-ware, technology and photographs from early European settlers. I am a volunteer at the information desk of the Auckland Museum.
Written October 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Carole P
17 contributions
Aug 2018
An excellent exhibition which depicts the history of the fight for woman’s votes, particularly focused on the Western Bay of plenty area and woman in the region. Well worth a visit, you can also check out various working artefacts they have, Morse code, party line phones, old typewriters and more.
Written August 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

maxiesmart
Mount Maunganui, New Zealand125 contributions
Jun 2018 • Couples
The museum after much hard work by the local community and Museum Committee, moved into the Fire Brigade Building about 2 years ago. It takes you back into the local history, history of the Anzacs during WW1 and local Maori history. The attendants only to pleased to help with local knowledge.. Great displays
Written June 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

CharlieandSue
Tauranga, New Zealand214 contributions
Mar 2018 • Friends
Our Lions Club arranged a visit to the museum as part of a social outing - so glad they did as it is an awesome place to visit.
As part of the visit we had scones (baked onsite) along with Tea/coffee.
My wife and I will be taking our eldest grandson for a visit in the near future!
Written April 8, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Western Bay Museum (Katikati) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Western Bay Museum

Western Bay Museum is open:
  • Mon - Fri 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Sat - Sun 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM