If you want to understand what makes New Zealand tick, visit museums wherever you go. Finding out the why, where, how and who in any town or city adds an extra layer to your travel experience.
Each of our major museums has its own specialities. Auckland Museum is known for an impressive collection of Maori and Polynesian artefacts; Te Papa in Wellington offers a very modern, and often interactive, learning experience; Canterbury Museum has a strong focus on Antarctica; Otago Museum in Dunedin takes an in-depth look at the natural and social history of the South Island. The provincial cities also have plenty to show you - check out Puke Ariki in New Plymouth and the wearable art museum in Nelson.
Small museums also deserve your attention, because they’re often eccentric and surprising. Kauri trees, coal and gold mining, cable cars, caves, toys, volcanic eruptions, army equipment, boats, trains and planes - the subject matter is wonderfully diverse.