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Military
Museums

There are three museums across Aotearoa New Zealand that showcase and support our military history.

Each museum is dedicated to each of our three Services; the Royal New Zealand Navy, the New Zealand Army and the Royal New Zealand Air Force. 

Inside the Torpedo Bay Navy Museum

Torpedo Bay Navy Museum

Location: Devonport, Auckland

The Navy Museum is the kaitiaki – guardian of the Royal New Zealand Navy’s memory.

Their site at Torpedo Bay, Devonport is one of the most intact examples of a nineteenth-century mining establishment in New Zealand and possibly in the Southern Hemisphere. The original 1896 buildings were redeveloped to accommodate the museum’s exhibitions and visitors, opening in 2010.

Their fully accessible facilities include a licensed café, children’s playground, meeting areas and a modern learning space.

Permanent exhibitions showcase the story of our Navy’s contribution to the development of New Zealand’s identity through the lens of the Navy’s values – Courage Tū Kaha, Commitment Tū Tika, Comradeship Tū Tira and Integrity Tū Maia.

Find out more about Torpedo Bay Navy Museum

A armoured vehicle parked outside the New Zealand Army Museum in Waiouru

National Army Museum

Location: Waiouru

The National Army Musuem is a New Zealand museum that showcases our nation’s military history – telling the stories of Kiwi soldiers and exploring our participation in major conflicts worldwide.

The museum is located on State Highway 1 in Waiouru and gets many visitors who travel through the Central Plateau. 

Find out more about the National Army Museum

Inside the Air Force Museum NZ

Air Force Museum of New Zealand

Location: Christchurch

The Air Force Museum of New Zealand is the national museum for the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) and New Zealand military aviation, and stands on the site of the former air base at Wigram, Christchurch.

The museum had its origins in the RNZAF Historical Centre, established at RNZAF Base Wigram in 1976. This was a small-scale, part-time venture, until 1981 when a formal Air Force Order established the RNZAF Museum as an official Air Force unit, staffed by uniformed Air Force personnel.

The Museum initially occupied part of ‘No. 7’ Hangar (since demolished) for all of its activities, including displays, but by 1982, it became apparent that new purpose-built premises would be required. A major fundraising campaign began and many organisations and individuals contributed significantly to the establishment of the facility they have today.

Find out more about the Air Force Museum of New Zealand