North Otago Museum Collections

The North Otago Museum collects artefacts and objects that tell the natural, cultural, agricultural and industrial stories of the Waitaki District: from early Maori occupation around the Waitaki River mouth, European settlement by whalers and runholders through to the discovery of gold and the wool and meat industries which led to the development of Oamaru as a significant port town.

Image – Gina Buckley (photographer) and Rebecca Anderson (Gallery and Museum Technician) photographing Museum objects. February 2019

In 2019 we will be launching our Collections Online. This will ultimately mean that our community (local and global) will be able to search our collections and view information and images of the collection online.

North Otago Museum textile store

In the past Museums often collected indiscriminately, becoming a bit like community attics.

Stewart Willetts' with Waitaki taoka

One of the outstanding collections of the North Otago Museum. This collection is on display to the public.

North Otago Museum
Janet Frame's typewriter at the North Otago Museum

Visit our permanent display dedicated to the life of one of New Zealand’s most famous writers, Janet

North Otago Museum
Close up of moa skeleton at the North Otago Museum

Moa were large, flightless birds that were unique to New Zealand. There were nine species of moa in New Zealand. All moa are now extinct.

North Otago Museum
Folding globe from Oamaru South School, North Otago Museum Collection 9096.

Staff are working hard behind the scenes to select objects for our redeveloped displays. This can be a complex and time consuming process, but it is usually also very interesting. An object is selected because it is able to tell a story or stories about our district.