Established in 1868, this is New Zealand’s fourth-largest museum with over 1.7 million items; most people are surprised by the depth of its large ethnographic, natural-history, and decorative-arts collections. These include Southern Land Southern People, a superbly curated exhibition of southern Maori art and artifacts, their stories and treasures; and Discovery World Tropical Forest (on the same level) which draws visitors into a re-created, and quite humid, rain forest, home to First Flight, a three-level butterfly experience. You'll have trouble prying your children away—something that can't be said of most museums. Constantly changing exhibitions are mounted; should Ice Lab be on during your visit—it features fascinating examples of Antarctic architecture—make it a must see. The Museum Café features the region’s famed cheese rolls in its selections. They are an Otago/Southland specialty….but you might wonder why.