Aucklanders can look forward to an exciting programme of local and international exhibitions at Auckland Museum in 2018, including a blockbuster LEGO® show, while work on a new Special Exhibitions Hall begins.

The enlarged Special Exhibitions Hall, when complete, will enable visitors to experience more home-grown and international touring exhibitions at the Museum’s iconic building in the Domain. A dynamic line-up of exhibitions will be on show throughout 2018 before the new Special Exhibitions Hall opens in early 2019.

These school holidays will be the last chance for people to see the Wild Child and Encounter galleries before they are closed for construction in early February to make way for the new Exhibition space. A favourite from those galleries, Rajah the elephant, will be returning to a new home within the Museum after he undergoes some needed conservation.

This work is part of Future Museum, the 20-year plan which will transform the building, refurbish and revitalise 50% of the galleries and add5 more public space to increase access to more of the collections. To read more about Future Museum, click here.

“This is an exciting time for Auckland and for Auckland Museum”, says Museum Director Dr. David Gaimster. He continues,

"The ambitious work we are undertaking will ensure the Museum is in the best possible position to provide Auckland with a museum of international standing. Conscious of the onsite construction, we are bringing our visitors a dynamic programme of exhibitions this year”.

Whatever your interests, there’ll be something for you at Auckland Museum with six exhibitions confirmed for 2018.

The Museum will host a blockbuster LEGO® exhibition, celebrate the unique music of South Auckland in the heart of Manukau with Volume South, and share a stunning collection of butterflies from our natural science collections in the Secret World of Butterflies.

The Museum will honour its role as Auckland’s war memorial with an exhibition remembering the life of Anne Frank with Let Me By Myself: The Life Story of Anne Frank, and will mark the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage with a contemporary look at gender equality in a unique and ground-breaking exhibition, Are We There Yet?

 Exhibition offer for 2018

On now until Sun 25 Feb, Special Exhibitions Hall, Free with museum entry

New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year

Image caption: Joanne Ottey/New Zealand Geographic

See the best photography in the country from the finalists of the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year 2017 Competition.

The exhibition showcases the work of some of New Zealand’s top photographers across a range of categories including landscape, society & culture, aerial, photo story and wildlife. 65 images will be displayed on backlit panels to reveal every stunning detail - a first for this homegrown exhibition.



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Fri 2 Feb – Fri 31 Aug, MIT Manukau Campus, Manukau Train Station, Davies Avenue, Manukau, Free

Volume South

Volume South is the South Auckland edition of our exhibition about making music in Aotearoa, hosted by Manukau Institute of Technology in Manukau. Activated by street culture, church choirs, R&B clubs and hip-hop, the story of South Auckland music is an explosive mix of hustle, talent and originality.

Volume South champions the artists and scenes that represent Southside pride.



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Fri 9 Feb - Sun 13 May 2018, Sainsbury Horrocks Gallery, Free With Museum Entry

Let Me Be Myself - The Life Story of Anne Frank

Image caption: © Photo collection of the Anne Frank Stichting (Amsterdam)

Imagine spending years in hiding because of prejudice and hate. Developed by Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, the international exhibition Let Me Be Myself – The Life Story of Anne Frank explores how life was for Anne Frank and her family, and looks at the events surrounding the Holocaust and the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany.

Auckland Museum is the first to host this exhibition in New Zealand as part of a three-year tour supported by The Holocaust Centre of New Zealand.


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Friday 30 Mar to Sunday 14 May, Special Exhibitions Hall

Brickman: Wonders of the World

On sale from Monday 26 February. Head to and register to be the first to hear when tickets go on sale.

LEGO® lovers look out! Direct from a blockbuster summer at Te Papa, Ryan McNaught (aka Brickman), one of only fourteen LEGO® Certified Professionals globally, will bring some of the world’s most iconic landmarks and masterpieces made exclusively from LEGO® bricks to Auckland Museum.

Ryan McNaught  and his team have spent a jaw-dropping 4,944 hours building the 50 LEGO® masterpieces that will be on display including the Taj Mahal, Michelangelo’s Statue of David, The Great Wall of China, the Empire State Building (complete with King Kong), the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Arc de Triomphe.

Visitors will be taken on a historical journey through time, with the opportunity to discover more about each attraction – real life and LEGO® life! Ryan will also be enlisting the building skills of the public to help with some of the model making, creating a truly interactive and imaginative experience.   


9 June 2018 to mid-May 2019, Sainsbury Horrocks Gallery, Free with museum entry

The Secret World of Butterflies

Discover an enchanting world in this exhibition displaying thousands of butterfly specimens. The collection of butterfly enthusiast Ray Shannon will be shown for the first time, with incredible butterflies from all around the world and in every colour lining the walls of the gallery.

Create your own butterfly and set it free in a lush digital forest. The exhibition explores the science of butterflies such as metamorphosis, anatomy and habitat through interactive activities. The Secret World of Butterflies is perfect for young explorers and lovers of the natural world.

Friday 6 July 2018 – 31 October 2018, Special Exhibitions Hall, Free with museum entry

Are We There Yet? Women and Equality in Aotearoa

We celebrate 125 years of suffrage in New Zealand with a contemporary exhibition that uses this historic anniversary as a springboard to examine the successes and speed-bumps of gender equality so far, and where to next.

In the year of #metoo, how far have we come since 1893?  Hard-hitting issues such as reproductive rights, gendered violence, online trolling, equal pay, legal rights and body image are all up for discussion and interrogation.

Photographs of trailblazers, ground-breaking marches, and posters and publications from the Museum’s collection will be on display, including photography by Gil Hanly & Robin Morrison, and a short-film directed by renowned filmmaker Gaylene Preston. Stay tuned for an incredible line up of events to support the exhibition.


For media enquiries, please contact:

- Auckland Museum Publicist, Kat Saunders:; 0226450845, or

- Auckland Museum Communications Manager, Kerry Bothwell:; 021 501 232