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NewZealandAtoZ reviews; Otago Museum and Discovery World Tropical Forest (butterfly house).

The Otago Museums website states “Welcome to one of the World's best museums!”, very bold statement. I have not been to all the museums in the World so I cannot tell you if it is or isn’t, but it is an interesting way to spend an afternoon.


The Otago Museum was opened on the 15 September 1868, which grew out of a suggestion in the early 1860s that colonial, gold-rich Otago should publicly exhibit a representative collection of its diverse rocks.

The museum’s existing site at 419 Great King Street was moved into on 11 August 1877.


The museum is in the area of the city dominated by the Otago University campus.

You arrive in the museum walking past the souvenir shop and cafe, both are clean, bright and modern.

We wandered up the stairs for a look around before going into see the butterflies. After a feel for the museum we went into Discovery World where we found some fun interactive games and puzzles including the inflating of a hot air balloon and stomping on a giant foot piano. This is a great way for children to burn off some energy an kill some time.

Now into the Tropical Forest, this is a great place to go on a cold winter’s day, it‘s tropical (just imagine getting off a plane into a Thailand summer heat). The area has multi levels with a fish pond at the bottom and butterflies fluttering all around, with the odd one landing on you. I did like the window that showed you the actual lava turning into butterflies. It delivered something that you don’t see every day, and was enjoyable.


The Museum as a whole was a great place to learn about New Zealand and spend a few hours just wandering around.  It is free to enter but you have to pay to get into any special exhibitions or the Discovery World ($10 adult and $5 child). We enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and the amount of people wandering around.


The whole Otago museum experience was good value and we think well worth a visit. Great place to go on a miserable day.


Make sure you have a play out the front with the two sound shells, very surprising how sound travels.

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