Each one of New Zealand museums has their own story to tell. Some do this by showcasing the finest artworks, others bring Maori heritage to the forefront, and a few have their own specialist topics to share.
After a very significant internal revamp, this museum is everything you'd want in a city's storehouse of treasures: fun, interactive, attractive, informative, and filled with interesting collections. Its Maori and Polynesian section, the biggest in the world, sends shivers down your spine; if you've got kids, let them loose in the Discovery Centre, where they can legally stick their fingers into just about anything.
New Zealand National Maritime Museum:
At the pinnacle of New Zealand's boating history - with the America's Cup Challenge right in our backyard - the Maritime Museum is booming. Look for KZ 1 outside, and inside discover 1,000 years of the country's maritime history. See sail makers, boat builders, and wood-turners at work and take a cruise on one of the vessels.
Museum of New Zealand - Te Papa Tongarewa:
One of the largest national museums in the world, this giant edifice on Wellington's waterfront is said to be years ahead of anything else like it. Truly bicultural, it's a magical place where art and artifacts meet technological brilliance, creating riveting displays and interactive playthings for all ages. Here you'll find everything from a whale skeleton and a working Maori marae to art collections and virtual-reality diversions.
Canterbury Museum and the International Antarctic Centre:
Although these two museums are completely separate entities located miles apart, together they present a terrific overview of life and history in Antarctica. Nowhere else in the world will you find this much-gathered information about the great icy continent. There's everything from wildlife displays to human exploration accounts and a real ice chamber so you can get the feel of life in subzero temperatures.