The New Zealand Maritime Museum is the place where the stories of people and the sea are preserved, shared and explored with our visitors.
New Zealand is one of the most maritime nations in the world and the story of every one of us is affected by the sea – through immigration, trade, design, innovation and leisure. The Museum is a hub for all of these stories; we express them in our galleries, and through our programme of events, special exhibitions, heritage sailings and more.
The Museum houses one of the nation’s most important heritage collections which covers the breadth of our relationship with the sea; from the Great Pacific Migration a thousand years ago to the cutting edge of modern technology and design used in America’s Cup and modern yachting.
Whether a lifelong yachtie or someone who has never before set foot on a boat, you will find relevance and personal connections to the stories and taonga of the New Zealand Maritime Museum.
Situated in Auckland’s vibrant Viaduct Basin on the Waitemata Harbour, the Museum is open every day of the year except for Christmas Day.
Our Gifted Maori Name
The New Zealand Maritime Museum is proud of our Maori name: Hui Te Ananui A Tangaroa.
Gifted by Sir Hugh Kawharu, our name means “the dwelling of Tangaroa”. It is based on the ancient Maori and Polynesian understanding of Tangaroa, the creator of the waves and life within the oceans whose breathing makes the tides ebb and flow. In M?ori lore, Tangaroa makes his home beneath the sea and is vividly described in traditional whakairo (wood carvings) and ta moko (living skin art).
This personification of the sea and its elements has connotations of the combined power of waves, wind, moon and stars – the forces of nature that guide all mariners past, present and future.
Exhibitions & Events
- Set Sail with Us – Head out on one of our heritage vessels on the Waitemata Harbour.
- Guided Tours – Join our friendly guides as they bring to life the stories of Aotearoa New Zealand’s voyaging history. Group tours depart regularly from the ticket desk or can be booked in advance
- School Holiday Activities – Join us for children’s theatre, Museum trails, craft workshops and harbour sailings!
- Landfalls – Navigate the pioneering voyages of discovery, settlement and trade that shaped the early history of New Zealand.
- New Beginnings – Meet the early immigrants who braved the ocean to arrive, survive and thrive in a remote and inhospitable land.
- Blue Water, Black Magic – A tribute to Sir Peter Blake: America’s Cup and New Zealand’s remarkable yachting success.
- Edmiston Gallery – Temporary exhibitions relating to maritime art and the expression of our spirit as a seafaring nation.
- Kiwis and the Coast – Discover how New Zealand’s unique bond with the ocean has shaped the Kiwi identity.