Auckland, United Kingdom
October 20, 2002
The main and most interesting exhibits include the Polynesian and Maori vessels - there are drawings to demonstrate how and what they were used for, as well as replicas of the vessels themselves - this gives great insight into a traditional way of sailing for both recreation and for survival.
Also, there is quite a large Settlers and Immigrants exhibition, which is interactive - you first go through a display of the type of cabin accomodation the "Mr Average" and his family would have lived in for months to reach New Zealand, and then what the "Mr Wealth" and his family would have enjoyed to reach their destination - no prizes for guessing which I would have preferred to travel in!! In this particular exhibition, there are also some computers with databases of all known people who came across to New Zealand, and all the details that are known about them, and we had great fun looking up our family names to see if our ancestors had, at some point, made the crossing for a new life. There are also a couple of walk-through displays of various parts of ships - the Captains' Office was one that I liked, and there are also some vessels of various descriptions that you can walk on and around (gives ample opportunity for the typical camera-pose with the ships' steering wheel!).
These are just some of the more interesting exhibitions, others include Whaling and Sealing, Lifeboat Services, Voyages of Discovery and Commercial Shipping. And, don't forget the outdoor exhibits of ships and boats, and also the working Steam Crane which gives daily demonstrations. For times of cruises, demonstrations and some of the many special activities and events that happen there, the website is really good, with up-to-date information - www.nzmaritime.org.
From journal Four seasons in Auckland