Three of a kind
NAT IONAL MUSEUM & ART GALL ERY, PORT MORESBY, PNG
Remodelled for Papua New Guinea’s 40th anniversary of independence in 2015, the museum is a portal into the country’s rich natural and cultural heritage. It tells multi-layered stories about the indigenous culture, covering geography, fauna, culture, ethnography and history. As you wander through the four exhibitions, you’ll discover tribal artifacts from all across the islands, including headgear with bird-of-paradise feathers, masks and other body adornments, tools, weapons, kina shell money, ceremonial drums and canoes.
There’s a collection of recovered World War 2 aircraft on the entrance lawn, including the 90-year-old Ford Trimotor 5AT-C ‘Kokoda Spirit’, Originally an air ambulance that whisked wounded Australian soldiers off the Kokoda Trail, it’s especially pertinent to see this year for Kokoda’s 75th anniversary.
The stunning carved totem poles, used to decorate spirit houses in the Sepik region, in the Masterpiece Exhibition.
ENTRY & HOURS
By donation. Open 8.30am–3.30pm Monday– Friday; 1–3pm Sunday. Closed Saturday.
EDO-TO KYO MUSEUM, TO KYO, JAPAN
This cavernous museum dives into the city’s 300-year transformation from Edo ( Tokyo’s original name) feudal city, to vibrant modern capital. Get a fascinating insight into the way Japanese people used to live from the city models (some full-size, some miniature with intricate mini people and buildings), reproductions of ancient maps and woodblock prints. There are volunteer English-speaking guides, and you’ll need at least two hours to see all six floors.
The life-sized partial replica of the original 1872 Nihonbashi bridge, which marked the centre of the flourishing Nihonbashi commercial district in the Edo period is remarkable. Standing on the bridge, visitors can look down on life-size models of tenement row houses, a kabuki theatre and more.
On Saturdays there are often free traditional cultural programs, including traditional Japanese music concerts. But you’d better hurry: the museum will be closed for renovation from October 2017 to March 2018.
ENTRY & HOURS
600 yen (PGK17). Open daily 9.30am–5.30pm, except Mondays.
MUSEUM OF NEW ZEALA ND, TE PAPA, TO NGAREWA, WELL INGTO N, NZ
Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum, is possibly the most hands-on way to learn about the country’s history. Inside you’ll find an incredible collection of Maori artifacts, Pacific and NZ history galleries, the national art collection, as well as themed hands-on ‘discovery centres’ for children, spread over six floors. There’s also a real 495-kilogram colossal squid in a six-metre tank in the Mountains to Sea exhibit.
SOMETHING SPECIAL Bush City is a lush, sprawling garden by the harbour, with boardwalks and a swing bridge where you can get a taste of NZ’s native bush and wetlands. You can also explore a stalactite-draped glow-worm cave, dig for fossils and climb a lava flow.
DON’T MISS The ‘Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War’ exhibition (open until 2018) explores NZ’s role in the World War 1 Gallipoli campaign via the experiences of eight New Zealanders. The hyper-real models, made by celebrated special effects company Weta Workshop, makes it feel fascinatingly real.
ENTRY & HOURS
Free. Special tours extra. Open 10am– 6pm, seven days.