New Zealand National Maritime Museum

Learn about local tales of discovery and voyages into the unknown at this museum dedicated to New Zealand’s rich maritime history.

The New Zealand National Maritime Museum is a comprehensive historical centre that showcases the Pacific nation’s ocean-faring heritage. From early Maori voyages to immigration, trade and industry in New Zealand’s seas, the museum offers insight into the country’s maritime innovators, pioneers, settlers and traders. Explore the museum’s permanent exhibitions, experience a simulation of the rolling seas in an 1840s boat cabin and jump onboard a heritage vessel for a charter trip around the harbour.

Perched on a pier in the exciting Viaduct Harbour precinct, the Maritime Museum incorporates a range of diverse exhibitions across its two levels, as well as a rotating selection of magnificently restored artefacts and relics.

Begin your visit by exploring the museum’s main exhibitions, such as the Landfalls display, which showcases replica Maori canoes and early European voyages to the country. At the New Beginnings exhibition, learn about the immigrant ships that brought thousands of hopeful new arrivals to the country, as well as the industries they undertook to establish new settlements. Learn about Sir Peter Blake, one of New Zealand’s most famous yachtsmen. Admire a rotating collection of maritime-inspired artworks, such as the Seafarers’ Stained-Glass Windows exhibit.

A special component of the Maritime Museum is its fleet of heritage vessels. Climb aboard one of these boats and go for a sail around Waitemata Harbour. Sail around the harbour in the 19th-century Breeze or Ted Ashby, or steam across the water in a little tugboat.

The museum has plenty of educational activities for kids, so time your visit with special events to make the most of this programme. Kids will love seeing the museum’s historic cannon being fired daily at noon. Guided tours are available twice daily for free with museum admission. Stop by the museum’s shop for maritime souvenirs. If the sun is out, relax on the deck of the museum’s café and bar and enjoy a refreshing drink.

The New Zealand National Maritime Museum is a few minutes’ walk west from the Britomart Transport Centre and the Auckland Ferry Terminal. It is open daily except for Christmas Day. Harbour cruises have an additional fee. Discounted admission is available for children and families, and Aucklanders receive free admission.