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The Ōtaki Museum has hosted a wide range of exhibitions. They have had an Ōtaki focus and covered a mix of local people, activities, places and events. To find out more about some of the past exhibitions, the current exhibition, and future exhibitions please scroll down the page or click the buttons below.

Current Exhibiton
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Current exhibition

Te Whakaaturanga o Te Tahamoana o Ōtaki |
Ōtaki Beach Exhibition

March 2024

This exhibition about Ōtaki features the beach settlement: from pā to baches and seaside villas.

Past Exhibitions

Past exhibitions

Below you can review some of the exhibitions the museum has hosted in the past. For further information about any of these past exhibitions, please contact us.


Phone 06 364 6886


Visit 49 Main Street, Ōtaki

past exhibitions at Otaki Museum
Te Wahi ara Tereina | The Railway

April 2023 – early 2024

This exhibition tells stories about the area of Ōtaki lying close to the Railway Station, and referred to by locals as “The Railway”. It starts with mana wheua stories and then covers the people and change over the past 140 years, closing with some hints at what the future for the area might be.

Ko Ōtaki Te Awa |  Ōtaki is the River

February 2021 - October 2021 (Part one)

This exhibition featured stories about the river and its relationship with the local community. The stories cover mana whenua, early European settlers, explorers and surveyors, plant hazards, geology, the river catchment, crossing the river and flooding. There was also coverage of the work of the Friends of the Otaki River; a community group set up 20 years ago to participate in the development and implementation of flood protection work. The exhibition is based largely on the book ‘Ko Ōtaki Te Awa Ōtaki River’, written by local historian Rex Kerr.

Ko Ōtaki Te Awa, Ko Ōtaki Te Kainga | Ōtaki is the River, Ōtaki is the Home

November 2021 - April 2022 (Part two)

The second part of the River exhibition featured more stories of the Ōtaki community's relationship with the river: Ngati Huia's home at Katihiku,  farming, market gardening, recreation, gravel extraction and milling. 

Health on the Hill: A History of the Ōtaki Cottage Hospital and the Sanatorium

December 2019 - July 2020

This exhibition was about the history of Ōtaki’s Cottage Hospital and the Sanatorium. The Cottage Hospital opened in the 19th century and from 1933 provided only maternity services. The Maternity Home closed in 1992 and since then, the building has been operated by the Ōtaki Community Health Centre.

The Sanatorium opened in 1907 for tuberculosis patients. It had its farm, and many Ōtaki residents worked there over the years. In 1964 as patient numbers declined, it closed. The buildings were finally demolished in 1997.

Ōtaki Women and the Fight for the Vote

September - October 2018

The exhibition included copies of the signatures of the women from the district who signed the 1893 petition, as well as a list of those who registered for the general roll. It also included information about the role of Māori women in the suffrage movement.