Travels with Tim and Lisa

"If my discoveries are other people's commonplaces I cannot help it – for me they retain a momentous freshness" (Elizabeth Bowen)

Posts Tagged ‘Auckland Maritime Museum’

New Zealand Day 9: Auckland Maritime Museum

Posted by Lisa Hill on May 14, 2019

So, after lunch we strolled down to Auckland Harbour.

It looks pretty much like most harbours do, but some of the nearby apartments are stunning.

As you walk along the wharf, they look very swish….

…but it’s when you’re on the other wide of the water you can see that they are designed to look like a cruise ship, portholes and all!

The Auckland Maritime Museum is well worth an hour or two of your time.  The entry fee isn’t expensive (and they honour Australian Seniors Cards here, which is nice).

First of all there was a comprehensive display of Polynesian boats which made those amazing journeys across the Pacific from Tahitian islands to New Zealand about 800 years ago.

Then there were the European explorers—Portuguese, Dutch, British and French.

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Black Magic NZL-32 (Wikipedia)

The yacht Black Magic NZL32 which won the America’s Cup was there: and I was most amused by signage that said that this yacht was one of only two in the world to have defeated the Americans for the Cup … but they didn’t mention which country the other winner came from!

There was also a replica of the America’s cup, and an extensive display about Sir Peter Blake who captained the yacht, including his ‘lucky red socks’ (replicas of which you can buy in the shop).  Tim (who used to sail in his youth on the family yacht ‘Valhalla’) was captivated by the collection of yachts large and small, from numerous different ‘classes’, and there was a great long cabinet displaying some of the trophies the Kiwis have won.

As in the other NZ museums we’ve visited, there was a Migration Gallery.  This one started with C19th migration and some of the advertising for migrant women caught my eye.  There was also a model of awful cabin conditions in the days of sail, contrasted with a cabin from a 1950s ocean liner (which seemed a bit more rudimentary than what I remember, but we didn’t travel as Ten Pound Poms, so I guess our conditions were better).  Here’s the slideshow:

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But what I liked best of all was all the model ships.  These never fail to enchant me when I find them in museums… I used to love the collection they had on display in the old Melbourne Museum.  The ones here in the Auckland Maritime Museum didn’t disappoint: the detailed fittings and the authenticity of these models is just breathtaking.  Here are two that I especially liked:


Photo credit: Black Magic NZL-32 by Kiwimedia (talk) at en.wikipedia – (Original text : I (Kiwimedia (talk)) created this work entirely by myself.), CC0,

Posted in 2019 New Zealand, Auckland, Museums | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

New Zealand Day 9: Auckland Writers Festival Event

Posted by Lisa Hill on May 14, 2019

Well, we’ve attended our first Auckland Writers Festival Event, a bespoke lunch with celebrity chef Tony Tan!

But we’ve also checked out the venue for the bookish events… and it is going to take all my self-control not to succumb to some very enticing books a *lot* of Air New Zealand excess baggage charges from the festival bookshop, which is already open.

The Aotea Centre is a stone’s throw from our hotel, but I managed to find some interesting buildings en route all the same.  Here’s the slideshow:

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You will have noticed that I slipped in a picture of Melbourne’s Forum Theatre… as soon as I saw the Auckland Civic Theatre, I recognised the style, and it didn’t take much searching to find that the similarity is owed to the designer John Eberson, who was an American promoter of what were called Atmospheric Theatres.  (If you’ve been inside our Forum Theatre, you know exactly what that means.  If not, click here to find out more).

So, back to our first festival event…

Tony Tan is a celebrity chef, Malaysian-born but based in Melbourne, and to celebrate the launch of his new cookbook Hong Kong Food City, he put on a special lunch at Nic Watt’s Masu restaurant here in Auckland.

Masu is actually a Japanese restaurant, and I asked the man who was obviously in charge of it (owner? maitre d’? head chef?) if it was stressful lending his restaurant to another chef, and he laughed and said yes, it was, because his chefs had no experience cooking Chinese food and before the event, there were lots of emails flying backwards and forwards seeking further instructions about how to do things.  Imagine it! The kitchen staff certainly deserved the sustained applause they got from the delighted patrons!

Anyway, here’s the slideshow… the chicken is inside that packet.  I did take a photo, but, well, it just looks like chicken!

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We took a constitutional down to Prince Wharf afterwards, and from there to the Maritime Museum.  I’ll whip up a post about that after dinner…

Photo credits:

Forum Theatre, Melbourne by Donaldytong – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Auckland Civic Theatre by Ingolfson at English Wikipedia(Original text: Uploader.) – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.(Original text: Own picture.), Public Domain,

Posted in 2019 New Zealand, Auckland, Dining out, Museums | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »