Discover how New Zealand's unique bond with the ocean has shaped the Kiwi identity

Beach, bach and shop 

The 1950s replica beach shop and small holiday house, known as a ‘bach’, are nostalgic reminders of past seaside holidays for many New Zealanders.


There is also a superb range of outboard motors, including the Hamilton jet engine. The speedy Hamilton Jet Boat was a backyard invention by South Island high-country farmer, Sir William Hamilton in the 1950s. The design became an international success and jet propulsion is now used on boats throughout the world.

Oceans Apart 

The beautiful and highly detailed models in this gallery represent some of the most significant ships of New Zealand’s past, from the 1880s until 1950. This period includes two World Wars and saw technology progress from sail to steam and then diesel.


Learn how sailors find their position at sea using stars and landmarks to chart a safe and efficient course to their destination. Key navigational instruments and tools; octants, sextants, compasses and global positioning systems, are explained.

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