About Us

Developed to preserve and to exhibit the heritage of the beautiful Catlins region of the South Island of New Zealand, the Owaka Museum is the flagship of the Catlins Historical Society.

Opened in 2007 this facility is the result of a joint project between the Catlins Historical Society and the Clutha District Council to create a community facility complete with a museum, shop, community gallery, library and Information centre.

The building, designed by Philip Gilchrist, is itself a sculptural form with a mast-like “marker” and a porthole set into the main door that recall the maritime history of the area. This connection with the sea is also echoed in the sculpture designed by Russell Beck and installed outside the museum as part of the town’s 150th anniversary celebrations in January 2015.

In addition to offering an insight into the impact of the sea upon the community, the museum explores a number of other themes associated with the settlement of the area and in so doing offers a window to The Catlins that is greatly appreciated by visitors.

The Museum is opened daily except for Christmas Day and is staffed by a Director and a number of volunteers. To find out about supporting us click here.

So why not visit us?

Wahi kahuika - the meeting place, a rest on your journey.

Museum Charges: Adults $10; Children Free; School groups $5;
Adult (Tertiary) students $7; Bus Tours $7


On Site are,


Owaka public library with free WiFi



Stocks a wide variety of gifts, many of which are inspired by The Catlins.


Community Gallery

Features the work of local artists/artisans throughout the year.


Information Centre

Information about what to see and do as well as where to stay in the Catlins.