on December 22, 2008
Canterbury Museum is a great place. Donation only, if you're strapped for cash then you can drop in a few pennies or even browse around the place for free. It's a short ten minute walk from Cathedral Square, sitting right beside the Botanic Gardens, usually with a banner outside to let you know what the current exhibition is. Inside there are all the usual museum staples - prehistory through to present day - but most notably there is a wealth of New Zealand history on display in here. From full sized canoes and weaponry and diaramas depicting Maori life from thousands of years ago to modern history, right through to detailed accounts of the first European settlers and how that society has grown through the generations to become what it is today. There are many faces to the museum. There's a mock 19th century street that you can walk through and interact with. You walk into a store and the shopkeeper mannequin behind the counter speaks to you about the kind of stuff they would have talked about back in the day. It's really quite well done and serves as a useful break from the traditional exhibits. When you head upstairs, there's a wealth of Oriental exhibits to occupy you. These are absolutely fascinating - it's amazing looking through things dating back from 200AD and further and seeing that ancient China was founding advanced university studies when many western societies were still in the dark ages. Well worth a look. There's even a future exhibit and a children's museum, so they truly do cover all the bases for you. If you have a few hours, this is a worthy investment of your time.
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