The New Zealand Maritime Museum in Viaduct Harbour is an excellent museum that features exhibits on New Zealand’s maritime endeavours from Maori canoes right up to the recent America’s Cup yacht race.
The museum’s permanent galleries include Maori and Polynesian canoes, displays on early European exploration of New Zealand and the Pacific region and the subsequent settlement and immigration, whaling and sealing, and the development of modern commercial shipping.
The Blue Water Black Magic exhibit focuses on New Zealand’s role in the America’s Cup yachting competition. The exhibit features NZL32, New Zealand’s winning America’s Cup entry from 1995 as well as Sir Peter Blake’s famous lucky red socks and a replica of the America’s Cup trophy.
The museum is also home to several ships including restored ships from the 19th century to more recent reproductions of historic vessels. Some of these ships, including the Ted Ashby (a ketch-rigged deck scow) are available for sailing trips (at an additional charge).