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The New Zealand National Maritime Museum is located in the downtown waterfront area adjacent to the bustling Viaduct Harbour; its mission is to â??Preserve, present and interpret New Zealand’s maritime heritage’. In the years following its inception in 1993 the museum has acquired a reputation as a premier maritime museum.
The attractive exhibits encompassing 14 distinct galleries featuring unique layouts and themes which naturally draw the attention of the visitor. Until fairly recent times all of New Zealand’s inhabitants arrived by sea at some point in time. The peoples of New Zealand are descendants of those who braved the elements of the sea undertaking arduous journeys in their quest to reach the islands. The museum describes the perilous journeys of the various immigrants, and also highlights the importance of waterways and rivers that provided means of communication and transport in early times before roads were built.
One of the museum’s highlights is the animated feature â??Te Waka: Our Great Journey’ which is incidentally the largest such feature undertaken in New Zealand. This is the museum’s orientation feature and it sets the mood for the fascinating experiences to follow. The film depicts the dramatic moments of the exploratory journeys as well as the delightful sights and sounds experienced by the settlers.
New Zealanders take pride in their sailing and seafaring prowess and the museum recounts the nation’s significant moments on the seas, including competitive sailing in such competitions as the Jules Verne, Whitbread Round the World Race, Admiral’s Cup and perhaps most notably the America’s Cup. There is no doubt that New Zealand’s sailing and yachting reputation is legendary.
The museum features numerous model ships and other exhibits which are intriguing to view, but this museum has many other attractions which are not confined to the building of the establishment.Â The museum is constructed on a wharf leading into the nation’s most active harbour, and boasts its own marina featuring a multitude of different vessels, a fleet representative of New Zealand’s seafaring heritage.
Other highlights include a gallery devoted to maritime art with a constantly varying selection of masterpieces on various themes. The museum also features a library on maritime subjects which is reputed to be the best such selection in the country.
If it is Auckland family accommodationthat you seek, an ideal choice would be the Copthorne Hotel Auckland Harbour City. This fine Auckland hotelprovides the necessary comforts and conveniences that make for a pleasurable stay.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.