Te Aroha & District museum

Presenting the history of our town and district in ways that recognise
and explain our shared past as the foundation of our future

The Te Aroha and District Museum Society Inc presents the history of the district through thousands of artefacts and extensive displays of historic photos; early Maori relics; gold mining days; early settlers; business and development; the Domain; and the town's rich spa history through which the story of Te Aroha, the district and its people is told.

The Museum's home, for the last 50 years, is the Cadman Bath House sitting splendidly at the top of the Domain and along with the other buildings at its side it forms the only complete Edwardian Domain remaining in New Zealand. The Bath House opened in 1898 and was the first building commissioned especially for tourists - Te Aroha is hailed as "the birth place of tourism in New Zealand".

In 1971 Te Aroha Mayor Henry Skidmore began the Museum; the first recorded item was a humble, but worthy, farm plough (still on display). The Museum continues to be a vibrant place of interest and is constantly developing both through extending its collection and methods of display; the Museum is proud to showcase a great number of its artefacts, along with photographs and the stories behind the objects and people of Te Aroha and its surrounding districts.

Our Museum hosts are very knowledgeable and can answer questions on our displays and general history. We stage special exhibitions and update and change our displays frequently so that the Museum provides a relevant and informative place for continuing interaction for our visitors.

"Taking the waters" - this is a must see DVD by Kevin Wells which provides a fascinating history of the spa days and the Domain, narrated by Ian Harrap. This DVD will take you on a journey of discovery and is available for viewing at any time at the Museum.


Take our full immersion virtual reality tour


Comment left by a couple from Tauranga in our Visitor's Book (April 2022):
"The best little Museum in New Zealand"