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After checking in at the Museum’s ticket and information office, start your visit in the waka shed opposite. The large collection of different sized waka on display here were obtained from the lower North Island by the Museum’s founder, Murray Thacker Q.S.M.

Make sure you take the time a the end of your visit to wander across the road from the main museum complex to the Ngāi Tahu Reserve where the second Waka Shed is located. It houses two large waka, Kahukākā and Kōtukumairangi. The museum is kaitiaki of Kahukākā and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu are kaitiaki of Kōtukumairangi with the support of the museum. Both waka have amazing histories.

On Waitangi Day, you can enjoy the thrill of seeing Kōtukumairangi out on the water. It is a very moving sight to see this three-ton craft being paddled up the Ōpara Stream to the tauranga waka (landing area). A small waka shed in the museum proper also holds an extensive collection of small waka and related items including waka-titi, which were used for fishing and eeling.