Welcome to Waitaki Museum

exhibition of the Waitaha Taoka | Stewart Willetts Family Collection

Waitaki Museum is home to a significant collection of taoka (treasures), dating back to the earliest days of Māori settlement. The Waitaha Taoka | Stewart Willetts Family Collection includes thousands of stone tools, as well as adornment and items for fishing and hunting: all of them found at the mouth of the Waitaki River.

Image: Our Land, Tō Tātau Whenua, 2020, Waitaki Museum
The story of our land begins millions of years ago, when Waitaki, like much of New Zealand, lay under the sea. During this time, Ōamaru’s famous limestone formed on the sea-floor. It preserves some of the most incredible fossils in the world.
 
Image: European Settlement, 2020, Waitaki Museum

In the mid 1800s, Ōamaru was a bustling outpost of the British Empire. Immigrants from different cultural and social backgrounds settled here in search of a better life. Colonisation changed the landscape and the lives of Māori profoundly.