Toitū Otago Settlers Museum is a museum of social history dedicated to telling the story of the people of Dunedin and the surrounding area, whose character, culture, technology, art, fashion and transport shaped New Zealand’s first great city.
The story begins with a journey through the eyes of the first arrivals, Kai Tahu Māori, through the growth of the city, including the seedier side of early Dunedin, the rowdy pubs, and the ladies of the night, and culminating in Future City which focuses on the challenges facing Dunedin today.
A layer of People’s Voices highlights who and why people settled in the city from the earliest settlers to the present day and the Museum’s collection strengths – the Costume and Textiles, Military, Transport and Computer collections - are displayed in dedicated galleries.
Even the Museum’s buildings are a unique mix of heritage and modern, ranging from the early 1900s to 2012. Our new entrance foyer building and a state of the art collections store have been blended with our Victorian brick and limestone portrait gallery and a 1930s art deco bus station. The Roslyn #1 tram - the first electric tram in the Southern Hemisphere - and another Dunedin icon, the Tiger Tea trolley bus are displayed and there is also the opportunity to step back to the age of sail in our ‘onboard ship’ experience.
These captivating exhibitions are complemented by an onsite shop, a café and a research centre and archive for those interested in genealogy and other aspects of local history.