Clarion Suites Ambassador
92 Ulster Street
Phone: (64) 7 839 5111
Fax: (64) 7 839 5104
Arts & Museums
Housed in a beautiful garden, this museum showcases the rich local history and a lot of insights into the culture of Arawa people. The spectacular building, called Bath House is a sight in itself. The collection of the museum is divided into Taonga Maori collection, fine arts collection, photographic collection and social history collection. There is a range of tours, movie screenings and special activities for children to engage in. A visit to the Rotorua Museum of Art and History is definitely informative.
This gallery was built in 1984 by the Pakuranga Art Society, and is located alongside the Pakuranga Shopping Center. Regular exhibitions are held here, including those of paintings, sculpture, glass art and jewelery design by contemporary New Zealand artists and others, in several spacious gallery rooms. The gallery offers a lively program in community art, and design classes in well equipped studios. Guests can avail of the lounge during exhibitions, for a membership fee. Admission is free to one and all.
Auckland's colonial past (1840-1880) comes to life in this museum of living history, where characters in historical costume recreate life in a 19th century settlement. Authentic buildings number over 30 and include a store, church, forge, settlers' houses, sod and raupo cottages. Live Day, the third Sunday of each month (except December), includes a regimental march and military manouvers, plus a working blacksmith.
The Blockhouse was constructed in Onehunga in 1860 as one of a series of fortified buildings for protecting Auckland from attack by the Waikato tribes during the Land Wars. It was sited with unobstructed views over the area of the Manukau Harbour, and built with brick walls nearly a foot thick, steel-plate doors and shutters and fire-fighting gear on hand! It was restored in the 1960s and is used today as a community meeting place. Two other historic buildings nearby are Journey's End, a replica fencible cottage and museum, and Laishley House, a Congregational Manse of 1859.
Lopdell House stands proudly on the ridge next to the Titirangi shops. Galleries on two levels show exhibitions of contemporary fine art and crafts, both local and international. This is also the public art gallery for Waitakere City, promoting seasons of New Zealand film, new music and performance, workshops and public forums, lectures, seminars and debates. The building also houses a theatre, a shop offering fine quality art and craft wares and Lopdell's Bar and Restaurant, with superb views of the Waitakere Ranges and Manukau Harbour, is on the top floor.
Alberton dates from 1863. Starting life as a farmhouse, it was expanded to 18 rooms with exotic towers and verandas on several levels. The estate once comprised extensive farmland, gardens and orchards making it self-sufficient. In its heyday Alberton was famous for balls, garden parties, music and hunting. The grand house contrasts with the attic servant quarters. Original furniture and antique household items remain and the garden contains fine mature trees and a fountain. Alberton is available for cocktail and garden parties, weddings and marquee functions.
Highwic is one of the finest examples of a Gothic Revival home to be found anywhere. Begun in 1862 by Alfred Buckland, a successful local merchant, Highwic features vertical boarding, a slate roof, gingerbread trim, original and contemporary furnishings and extensively landscaped grounds. Watch for special programs including chamber music and receptions. Operated by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, Highwic is also available for hire for cocktail, dinner, garden parties and weddings.
This delightful architectural treasure in stone, dates from 1857. It was the home of the Reverend Dr. John Kinder and family and today contains two galleries of his works and memorabilia. While Kinder was a respected churchman and teacher, it is for his prolific painting and photography that he is remembered. His paintings concentrating on architecture and landscape, tell us much about early Auckland and New Zealand, as do the photographs. The house retains its original character, while the garden is beautifully maintained in old cottage style.
The steps of this museum offer splendid views over the Cenotaph forecourt to the Domain, the city and Waitemata Harbour beyond. The museum houses New Zealand's largest collection of Maori and Pacific Island taonga (treasures); fantastic interactive discovery centers for children young and old; and the Scars on the Heart exhibition of New Zealand war history. A 20-minute Maori cultural performance featuring songs, poi dances, stick games, a weaponry display and haka takes place. There is an excellent gift and book shop and a café within the building.
Artis Gallery joined the Jonathan Grant Galleries in 1988 and exhibits the exciting contemporary work of leading New Zealand painters, sculptors and photographers. Some of the best regarded include Elizabeth Thomson, Don Peebles, Virginia King, Greer Twiss, Peter Waddell and numerous others. Works are of a sophisticated, intellectual, abstract or symbolic nature and are always interesting. The rug makers of Dilana workshop are also represented in the Basement of the gallery. These rugs are contemporary handcrafted textile art pieces. These superb, collectible and original works are both functional in, and complementary to, architectural interior spaces. Visits on Sundays are strictly by appointment.
Jonathan Grant Galleries were established in 1984, specializing mainly in 19th and 20th century English and continental paintings. They also deal in antipodean painting and historical New Zealand watercolors. Some more recent New Zealand artists found at Jonathan Grant include Jan Nigro (painting), Josephine Davis, Ion Brown and Ken Kendall (bronze sculpture). The Galleries also provide a specialized conservation and restoration service, valuations, an art consulting service, and they make gold-leafed frames. In 1988 the galleries were expanded to include Artists Gallery next door, specializing in contemporary New Zealand work, and Dilana Artists' Rugs, a permanent display in "the Basement".
This gallery provides a comprehensive selection of New Zealand and international paintings, prints and sculpture. With up to 20 exhibitions each year, and a continuously rotating stock collection within the generous 3,000 foot gallery space, the Studio of Contemporary art is an essential stop for anyone seriously interested in New Zealand art. Founded by Joy Tongue and built on a foundation of education and expertise, trained professionals are constantly present to consult and assist interested parties. The studio has experience in creating corporate collections. Their expertise in packaging and cartage services makes the transport of artworks overseas affordable and practical.