New Zealanders at the beach

Members of Piha Lifesaving Club, photo by Graham Rhodes, 1950s, NZ Maritime Museum (2015.145.23)

It’s been all about the beach here at the museum for the last four months. With only two weeks to go until At the Beach closes, I thought it was a perfect time to talk about why the beach means so much to us.

Menus at Sea

MV AUSTRALIA, Crossing the Line Dinner 27th March 1960. Lloyd Triestino. [16028] Gentians – flowers of Italy

Imagine a gaily coloured menu on your dining table and the anticipation of wondering what food might be on the menu for your meal. Opening the page and finding all kinds of unusual options to choose from.

Examples include: Cat’s tongues; Jellied-broth with Sandeman port wine; Stewed lettuce and Ragoût of wild boar à la Tivoli; Golden tit-bits or Chow chow in syrup.

We’d all rather be at the beach

A special visit from Her Excellency Lady Janine Mateparae

The At the Beach exhibition, in the New Zealand Maritime Museum continues to draw a large enthusiastic audience including a special visit this week from Lady Janine Mateparae. With an early career as a swimwear designer, Lady Janine is particularly interested in the New Zealand fashion design and manufacturing story being told within the exhibition. 

Land of the Long White Beach

Land of the Long White Beach


So many new arrivals in awe of the beach. Working hard, but then taking their reward, family seaside outings, shore holidays and sandy walks. Some captured artful images, gladly engaged, celebrating adventures.

Ferries on the Waitematā - a modern perspective

Harbour Bridge - Silena Griffin

As part of our current “Ferries on the Waitematā” exhibition (on until 4 October), we commissioned Silena Griffin, a 3rd year photography student enrolled at the Unitec Institute of Technology in Auckland, to explore the experience of ferry passengers sailing on the Waitematā Harbour in 2015. With support from Fullers, Silena travelled around the harbour and in this blog, she tells us about her work and inspiration:

Waitematā Ferry Tales


Sally Fodie began her working life as a nurse aide in Oamaru. She was thirty years old when she came to Auckland with her husband in 1981 and began working on the Waitematā Harbour.  Initially, she was a deckhand before skippering the ferry GLEN ROSA, which ran from Auckland to the North Shore. Later, she skippered KESTREL for a decade.

Celebrating our 22nd Birthday

The Maritime Museum, just prior to opening in 1993 - NZ Maritime Museum Archives


This week marks the museum’s 22nd birthday here on Hobson Wharf, after the Right Hon. Jim Bolger Prime Minister of New Zealand cut a ceremonial ribbon on 19 August, 1993. We then opened our doors to the first members of the public two days later, on Saturday 21 August 1993.

Cunard Line Celebrates 175 years

Queen Mary 2 visiting Auckland in 2015

What could be more evocative of sea travel today than the names of the three Cunard liners: QUEEN MARY 2, QUEEN ELIZABETH and QUEEN VICTORIA.

Dining in luxury or travelling in a state room with a balcony may seem beyond the means of most people, but each year these ships call at ports around the world and take passengers on a voyage of a lifetime.

In May 2015, the three Queens helped celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Cunard Line by steaming together down the Mersey in Liverpool. They were watched by thousands of people who crammed every vantage point to see the ships.

600 ton slipway still in use after 100 years

600 ton slipway nearly completed, wide view looking east towards Freeman’s Bay and City

The year 2015 marks a centenary event for Auckland of the maritime kind. The 600 ton slipway in Westhaven was built by the Auckland Harbour Board to provide a maintenance access service for vessels up to 600 tons in displacement. The slipway was built to handle vessels up to 58 metres long and during her working life has seen a large variety of vessels.