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“unexpectedly great”

Okains Bay Maori and Colonial Museum
Ranked #29 of 239 things to do in Christchurch
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Prague, Czech Republic
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“unexpectedly great”
Reviewed 3 March 2014

Little museum at the end of world is full of beautiful things - great maori collection and several little houses from first colonists with really big collection of everyday use items. Not so gentle or noble as other museums, but more interesting for its great range.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank M_Breta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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103 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Maryland Heights, Missouri
Level 6 Contributor
121 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Simply Great!”
Reviewed 18 February 2014

I escorted a group of 13 cruise ship passengers. I had visited a Maori family with a one-half Maori guide 2 days earlier, leaving disappointed in the presentation. I had no expectations about this museum, and was pleasantly surprised. The property is home to 15-20 buildings, many with a unique story to tell. The proprietor has assembled an amazing collection of Maori and New Zealand artifacts. This was the introduction to Maori history & culture I was seeking, and more. There is nothing fancy nor sophisticated about the "museum". It is more of a field trip through history, walking from building to building, each with a different perspective. 20,000 Maori and colonial items, early farming, whaling, and cheese making exhibits, large & small Maori canoes, Maori buildings carved by master carver, working blacksmith and printing shops, gunroom including guns from the 1700s, vintage machinery & engine collection, and an authentic outhouse. This trip will cost you nothing but time and transportation - well worth the expense.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Bob S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
2,575 reviews
1,417 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,347 helpful votes
“true revelation....best repository of 20,000 items.”
Reviewed 5 September 2013

This for me is the must-see repository of Maori and colonial artifacts. Its fabulous,with 20,000 everyday-use items from cooking,hunting fishing,building and fashioning tools.
We spent 2.5 hours devouring and appreciating what is set out in front of us. Its not modern and anything like other museums. Run mostly by volunteers who were superb in highlighting and explaining their culture and heritage.
Wander through this maze,more a treasure-trove of historic gems. There is a Maori meeting house,a smithy,print shop,colonial homes including a totara slab cottage,a saddlery & harness shop and one star-of - the -show,a waka or war canoe used in the Waitangi Day celebration. Riveting stuff.....but there's more!!
We loved it,and Okains Bay with the contrast of the volcanic rim and the coves below. Extremely striking. If you are approaching from Akaroa,24 km away,take Ngaio Point road behind Duvaudelle. The small settlement lies at the bottom of Okains Bay road which ends at a beach sheltered by tall headlands. There's a few caves to gingerly explore.
Costs NZ $10.....priceless at any cost.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank Eli B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 6 Contributor
208 reviews
106 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“astonishing collection of Maori and colonial objects and environments”
Reviewed 27 March 2012

set aside a minimum 2 hours for this visit. It will take 5 mins just to un-drop your jaw when you see the Maori war canoes (and we got lucky and watched the kingfishers from the canoe shed, so it took us 20 minutes).
There must be some 15 or more rooms or buildings (holding thousands of objects) around the compound that have been rebuilt here for visitors to see what Maori life and colonial settler life was like. This is more common on North Island, but down South there are fewer Maori museums and the colonial exhibits are not so comprehensive.
Worth the detour and (3 months later) highly memorable.

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank EuroTraveller52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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