The Māori artifact collection here is one of the largest in the world. Must-sees include a fine example of a pātaka (storehouse), a fixture in Māori villages, and Te Toki a Tapiri, the last great Māori waka (canoe). Made of a single log and measuring 85 feet long, it could carry 100 warriors, and its figurehead shows tremendous carving. To delve further into Māori culture, attend one of the performances, held at least three times daily, that demonstrate
Māori song, dance, weaponry, and the haka (a ceremonial dance the All Blacks rugby team has adopted as an intimidating pre-game warm-up). The museum also holds an exceptional collection of Pacific artifacts and sometimes hosts high-quality visiting exhibitions. A monthly panel discussion followed by live music is known as Late at the Museum. The building, based on Greek Revival architecture, dominates the hill it sits on and offers a magnificent view of the harbor. On Anzac Day (April 25), thousands gather in front of the museum in a dawn service to recognize the gallantry of the country's servicemen and women.