During my unexpected day off work in Dunedin, I decided to visit Toitū Otago Settlers Museum. For the simple reason that it was free, in walking distance from my motel and I hadn’t been there before.
It rated highly on Tripadvisor, #3 in Dunedin and after visiting I can now see why.
Upon approaching to the modern looking building, right next to the amazing Dunedin Railway Station, I loved the juxtaposition of the old Taeiri Gorge rail cars sitting on the track.
As I mentioned, entry to the museum is free! There are donation boxes at the entrance and I saw a couple through the museum as I went around. In the entry, there are some very modern, and very clean public toilets (always a popular attraction for the traveler).
The museum itself has a load of interactive displays, touchscreens with more information, and audio and video mixed in with the more traditional artifacts.
The gallery’s take you chronologically through the early Maori history, through European and particularly Scottish immigration, through the impact of World Wars on the population through the more recent technologies including transport and computing.
I felt that they had the mix of technology and artifacts about perfect. I have been to some modern museums where they have half a dozen objects and the rest onscreen, through to the Victorian style, million objects with little information stuffed in a case. This museum was a great balance!
I especially enjoyed the area regarding the impact of the war on Dunedin. There was a visual display of photographs of Dunedin and New Zealand soldiers during World War 2. These photos were of particular interest to me personally, as the troops who served in North Africa, were at the same camp where my grandfather served during the war.
If you are in Dunedin, don’t miss this museum. I spent about an hour and a half there and you could easily spend much longer.