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    Auckland MuseumAuckland Museum Auckland, New Zealand atrium
    this museum is more appropriately called the Auckland War Memorial Museum and is the nation's most significant museum and war memorial, with collections that focus on the country's history, with emphasis on the Auckland area, military history and natural history. Today, the museum is one of the city's most iconic structures, built in the neoclassical style and residing on a grassed plinth or remnants of a dormant volcano, in the Auckland Domain, a big public park that is near the Auckland CBD. This museum traces its history back to 1852 when it began in a simple farm workers' cottage that the Auckland University now occupies. It contains a magnificent collection of Maori and Pacific Island relics and treasures that include three complete buildings, including Hotunui, a huge carved meeting house that had been constructed in 1878 at Thames, and Te Toki a Tapiri, a waka taua or war canoe from 1830. It also houses a number of exhibits that include 1.5 million natural history specimens from the fields of marine biology, botany, geology, land vertebrates and entomology, and a photographic collection of 1.2 million images. An inclusive permanent exhibition that covers the wars, both inside New Zealand and its taking part in other overseas battles, and it is linked to the War Memorial that showcases models of Maori pas or earth fortifications and original Mitsubishi Zero and Spitfire airplanes. It houses the biggest collection of decorative arts and applied arts in the country, with many of the objects shown in the Landmarks and Encounters galleries. It also hosts many changing special exhibitions.

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    Auckland ZooAuckland Zoo Auckland, New Zealand
    The Auckland Zoo occupies a 40 acre zoological garden next to Western Springs park after opening in 1922, although there were some problems encountered, but by 1930, there were a good number of animals housed there and a society created. During WWII, it would consolidate, and after the war ended, it would again start expanding and in the 1950s, chimpanzees would be acquired to offer tea parties for the audience's enjoyment, although it would end in 1964. In 1973, it expanded into the park, and from the end of the 1980s until today, some of the older exhibits have been taken away and replaced by modern holdings. The zoo houses more than 700 animals that represent 117 species and organized into exhibition zones by region of origin, biome or taxonomy. ASB Elephant Clearing holds the zoo's elephants, the Aussie Walkabout houses the emus, kangaroos and wallabies, sharing a walkway to the bird aviary, BNZ Kiwi and Tuatara house that contains the morepork, endemic owl, kiwis and tuartaras. Hippo River has the hippos of course, flamingos, serval, cheetahs, Chacma baboons and Hamadryas baboons. Primate Trail houses the Bornean orangutans and ring-tailed lemurs, the Newstalk ZB Rainforest which is home to the siamang gibbons, agouti, bonnet macaques, golden lion tamarins, tarantulas, spider monkeys and cottontop tamarins. This area also houses a pair of Asian small-clawed otters that gave birth to two male pups in 2009. The Paddle pop kidzone is where the children's zoo and play area is located, and Pridelands contains ostriches, zebras, white rhino, five lions, giraffes and springboks. Sealion and Penguin Shores contains New Zealand fur seals that are subarctic fur seals, California sea lions, numerous shore birds and small penguins. Their Tiger Territory houses three rare Sumatran tigers and three cubs have been born to them.

April 8, 2011