Leading the Past into the Future

Waikouaiti Coast Heritage Centre is East Otago’s leading regional museum. In addition to a collection of 9000 items, it hosts an information centre, offers a genealogy research service and sells document and photographic reproductions. It is currently in the midst of a major redevelopment programme.

Our Collections

Our collections contain 9000 items which spans eight principal areas:

     • Johnny Jones
     • Family histories
     • WWI memorabilia
     • Seacliff Hospital ephemera
     • Maritime history miscellany
     • Industrial and agricultural implements
     • Domestic equipment and furnishings
     • Archaic and classic Maori artefacts

 Our Building


The two-storey former BNZ building was designed by renowned architect RA Lawson in 1867 and built from limestone and cavity brick.

In 1927 the front first storey veranda was added and changes were made to the rear living quarters.The bank closed for business in 1937.

It has now been classified by the Historic Places Trust as a Grade 1 listed building.

Heritage New Zealand

 Our Society


The Waikouaiti District Museum Society was formed in 1966.

The Society is administered by a committee which meets monthly. The current president is Bill Lang.

In 2011, the Society formally changed the name of the Museum (but not the Society, which remains the same) to the Waikouaiti Coast Heritage Centre.

 Our Redevelopment


The proposed new Heritage Centre

The Waikouaiti Coast Heritage Centre is undergoing major redevelopment aimed at turning it into a vibrant and bustling heritage precinct.

A new purpose-built exhibition centre will bring the history of the area to life, creating a sense of identity and place for the local community.

Learn more about the redevelopment plans and our fundraising progress.