The Insider's Guide to New Zealand
Kaikoura Museum is difficult to miss.
Its exterior looks like a giant crayfishing pot but, thanks to its award-winning reputation, the building doesn't require bait to beckon visitors inside. The museum presents its history in many layers, from natural history to toanga Māori, through donated collectibles, interactive displays and preserved specimens. It brims with information and tangible reminders of the past, with displays on the walls and even adorning the ceiling. Surprises come in many forms — take, for example, the countless jars of preserved deep-water specimens and the restored cabin (from 1886) of the now-sunk Taiaroa steamer. Don't miss the long-term exhibition New Normal, a compelling reflection of how the recent earthquake impacted Kaikōura's people and land, both physically and physiologically. 96 West End, Kaikōura. (03) 319 7440, kaikoura-museum.co.nz