Nautilus has had a colourful life, travelling the world, since first being launched as family vessel used for picnics and racing in 1913. Since then she has run public excursions, ferry trips and charters and was involved in a rescue of a survivor from a tragic yachting accident. Nautilus was one of two motorboats carried by the hospital ship Marama during WWI which commenced duties in the Mediterranean in 1915. 

At the Water's Edge

Powerful ethereal imagery, compelling conceptual drawings and models make up the latest exhibition At the Water’s Edge on at the New Zealand Maritime Museum from November 1.

This exhibition features work by third year students from the University of Auckland’s School of Architecture.

Dravuni: Sivia yani na vunilagi - Beyond the Horizon

Dravuni: Sivia yani na Vunilagi - Beyond the Horizon explores cultural transmission in the digital age, belonging and place-making, legends and storytelling.

This upcoming exhibition at the New Zealand Maritime Museum, from June 24 – October 10, 2016, is a collaboration between Ema and Kaliopate Tavola.

Ko au te wai, ko te wai ko au: I am the water and the water is me

For people living in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, the sea is integral to our identity.

Ko au te wai, ko te wai ko au: I am the water and the water is me, opening at the New Zealand Maritime Museum on June 24, explores creative endeavours that have strong associations with the sea.

The community based project, facilitated by The Roots Creative Entrepreneurs Collective, shares information about water pollution and the origin of rubbish patches in our oceans.

At The Beach - 100 Years of Summer Fashion

17 October 2015 to 8 February 2016

'At the Beach: 100 years of summer fashion in New Zealand' celebrates changing beach fashions and fun since the early 1900s.

The exhibition will be on display across the Maritime Museum, and has been devised and produced in conjunction with the New Zealand Fashion Museum

Ferries on the Waitematā

Courtesy of the Stewart Family

16 May -  10 October

This exhibition features a selection of paintings by W. W. Stewart (1898-1976) and photographs which capture the romance of the era when steam ferries once operated on the Waitematā Harbour. In those days, public holidays would see the wharves crowded with hundreds of excited passengers travelling on excursions to destinations such as Motutapu, Cowes Bay, and Kawau Island. Steam ferries offered passengers a safe, comfortable and reliable form of transport, as they didn’t rely on the wind for motive power.


Wreck of HMS Orpheus by Admiral Richard Brydges Beechey

It was on February 7 1863 that HMS Orpheus was wrecked on the Manukau Bar, on the west coast of Auckland.  Of the 259 men assumed to be aboard - 189 men lost their lives.  

Messing About in Boats

Come and see the curiosities in the Museum's collection. Join us for an exhibition with a difference!

Highlights include painted whale ear bones decorated to look like faces, a sextant-type Stadimeter used for measuring the distance of enemy warships, and an early Troughton and Sims Theodolite that was used by the Auckland Harbour Board in setting out Auckland’s wharves.There are also paintings and photographs including some wonderful photos from acclaimed early 20th century photographer, Aucklander Henry Winkelmann.

SS Puke

SS Puke is the Museum's steam launch built towards the end of the 19th Century.

SS Puke, the Museum’s steam launch, is thought to have been a tender in the Kaipara logging trade, built by E. Thompson and Son at Aratapu, towards the end of the 19th century. She is typical of the small craft used for local transport on the Kaipara and other Northland harbours and rivers.


Breeze is a square rigged brigantine

Breeze is a traditional wooden sailing ship similar to vessels used for New Zealand coastal and inter-Dominion trades in the 19th and early 20th centuries. A brigantine, she has a square-rigged foremast and fore-and-aft rigged mainmast.