Navigate the pioneering voyages of discovery, settlement and trade that shaped the early history of New Zealand. 


Explore our world-class display of replica voyaging vessels from Oceania and learn about the different techniques, shapes and designs of the waka used to navigate the islands of the Pacific. Marvel at the adventures of Taratai, a traditionally-built, 76-foot baurua voyaging canoe from the Kiribati Atolls.

European Landfalls

The epic journeys undertaken by early European explorers were truly remarkable and form an important part of New Zealand's maritime history. The gallery tells the stories of Dutch, English, French and Spanish explorers as they set sail to the far side of the world, searching for the fabled 'Great Southern Land' as they ventured through the South Pacific.

Coastal Trade

See how coastal trade was fundamental in establishing New Zealand as a nation. Before the construction of roads, goods were mostly transported on water to ports and harbours around the coastline. The vessel REWA is a genuine trading cutter used during the 1800s.

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