The museum has hosted a wide range of exhibitions in the past. These have covered all sorts of Otaki activities, places and people. They have included:

August 2017

The exhibition celebrated 40 years of preserving Otaki's history. It featured memorabilia, scrapbooks, historical journals, photos, and the Rangiatea Graves project.



Featured the sinking of the SS Otaki 100 years ago, the history of the merchant navy and its role in WWI, and the Otaki Scholarship. This year's scholar, Fraser Cowie attewnded the closing ceremony.


 Early Domestic Life in Otaki

31October 2016 to 25 February 2017

How people lived (mid 1800s to 1950): cooking, clothes and home life.


Not only Te Rauparaha & Hadfield but also ....

14 April to 1 October 2016

The stories of 37 personalities who contributed to the development of Otaki town and district in the 19th and early 20th centuries.


Kapiti Island

31 July 2015 to 26 March 2016

The history of Kapiti Island: the early Maori settlement, the impact of the whalers, farming and conservation.


ÇANAKKALE – Road to peace out of war

5 to 27 June 2015

The Embassy of the Republic of Turkey's exhibition of photographic images taken by Turkish soldiers who served in the trenches at Gallipoli in 1915.


Otaki Remembers World War 1

4 August 2014 to 27 June 2015

From the Proclamation of War on 5 August 1914 to the signing of the Armistice on 11 November 1918 the exhibition has presented many aspects of World War I and its impact on those who served and the people at home.


Memories of Main Street

18 November 2011 - 28 January 2012

Otaki's Main Street over the years.

Market Gardening in Otaki

15 March - 28 June 2008

The history of one of Otaki's most important Otaki commercial activities.

Changing Faces of Te Horo

8 July - 31 October 2009

Changes that have taken place in Te Horo from the 19th century to the present day.

Cottage Hospital to Community Health Centre

28 July - 27 October 2007

Telling the story of 108 years of the Otaki Hospital.    

Otaki Beach Motor Camp

17 February - 19 May 2007

A photographic exhibition of the camp before it was demolished in 2006, and stories from residents and holiday makers.

Pictures and Players

29 April to 29 July 2006.

An exhibition about the history of the Civic Theatre and its predecessors,  presented by the Otaki Museum Trust and the Otaki Players Society.

Life in the Gorge

30 April - 30 July 2011

The history of the Otaki River upstream from the Totara Tunnel of the outer Gorge to the Waihoanga, and from there to Shields Flat, the Otaki  Forks and beyond. It included a glimpse of the Tararuas and the recreational activities offered  there for more than 100 years.  

A Showcase of Otaki Artists 

7 September to 23 November 2010

Three art exhibitions displaying artwork of some of the district's artists.

Paint The Town

1  to 29 October 2011

A community art project and exhibition.       

Hidden Gems

12 August -10 September 2011 

Look behind the scenes  at some of the many objects housed  at the museum.

Otaki Surf Lifesaving Club

4 December 2010 - 26 February 2011

The local contribution to 100 years of lifesaving in New Zealand

The Air Most Pure and Salubrious" Otaki in the nineteenth century

7February to 9 May 2009.

Covering the development of Otaki in the 19th century, when the town was formed. 

The Rural Scene - Otaki Gorge and Te Horo 

7 December 2013 - 19 January 2014

Taking a nostalgic look back at life in the Gorge and Te Horo.

Stepping Out Social Dances in Otaki

March-June 2012 

Celebrates the history of dance and socialising. This light-hearted exhibition recalls country halls, fabulous frocks, debutantes, American marines and romances formed on the dance floor.