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The Museum of New Zealand combines interactive technology with world-class displays that tell the whole New Zealand story—the country's history, art, her people, and natural environment. That story begins with an exciting, advanced motion simulators that take visitors back in time to the explosive, volcanic formation of the prehistoric landscape. Next up is an exploration of the aquatic world right offshore and most squeal with fright at the 3D animated squid movie (fascinating, too, is the preserved colossal squid that was caught in New Zealand waters). Visitors also go inside a traditionally carved Maori wharenui (meeting house); root through the jam-packed drawers in the kids’ Discovery Centre; and play on The Wall, a fab interactive space that allows guests to upload holiday snapshots to the Te Papa database and create works of art that merge with everyone else’s. Go early to beat the crowds.

We think this museum is essential viewing for anyone coming to New Zealand. Opened in 1998, it's one of the largest museums in the world and it’s redefining the word "museum".