When this museum was founded in 1867, its trading power with national and international museums was in moa bones. These Jurassic birds roamed the plains of Canterbury and are believed to have been hunted to extinction by early Māori. The museum still houses one of the largest collections of artifacts from the moa hunting period. You'll also find an interactive natural-history center, called Discovery, where kids can dig for fossils. The Hall of Antarctic Discovery charts
the links between the city and Antarctica, from the days when Captain Cook's ship skirted the continent in a small wooden ship. Among the 20th-century explorers celebrated here are the Norwegian Roald Amundsen, who was first to visit the South Pole, and Captain Robert Falcon Scott, who died returning from the continent. Fred & Myrtle's Paua Shell House tells the story of an iconic Kiwi couple and recreates their paua (abalone) shell-covered living room. The café looks out over the Botanic Gardens.