National Army Museum

National Army Museum

The most comprehensive New Zealand museum dedicated to the New Zealand Army.


At the foot of Mt Ruapehu, the Desert Road and the southern end of Tongariro National Park, sits the National Army Museum’s fortress-like building. The Museum building was designed by Sir Miles Warren in 1977 and built by the 2nd Field Squadron of the Royal New Zealand Engineers (RNZE) in just 276 days.

The Museum opened on 15 October 1978, and was to function as a memorial; to acquire, preserve and display aspects of New Zealand’s military history; and to serve as a research and teaching facility – all aspects inherent in the Museum’s mission today.

Our Mission

To engage New Zealanders in the stories of our soldiers and the history and development of our Army: to show how these have shaped our identity as a country and our place in the world, and thereby to help create a nation which understands and values its military dimension.


  • National Army Museum Waiouru


Looming dramatically out of the tussock and ‘guarded’ by restored tanks and guns, the Museum cannot be missed as you travel along State Highway One.

The average visitor spends 1-1.5 hours exploring the National Army Museum - a much deserved break after traversing the Desert Road or before continuing further North across the plateau.

National Army Museum, State Highway 1, Waiouru, Manawatu-Wanganui 4825, New Zealand