A bach the size of a matchbox. A tattooed sailor. A fork with a startling backstory.

The New Zealand Maritime Musuem Hui Te Ananui a Tangaroa is excited to announce the launch of its latest temporary exhibition, Captains, Collectors, Friends & Adventurers.

Featuring items from the museum’s collection that are not normally on public display, this exhibition is a chance to come face-to-face with some of Aotearoa’s legendary mariners, peer into miniature worlds and marvel at the unexpected links that can be made between people, places and time.

From albatross to textile art, vintage cruise ship menus to a globe-trotting bell, there’s something for the captain, collector, friend and adventurer everyone, says Maritime Museum Director, Vincent Lipanovich.

As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the opening of Hui te Ananui a Tangaroa the New Zealand Maritime Museum, this exhibition is somewhat of a love letter to our collection and the donors who built it – and more importantly to what that collection represents: our stories, our people, our connections to the ocean.

“The sea has always been a great connector of people and stories, and Captains, Collectors, Friends & Adventurers is our chance to share some of these in a way that’s both fun and informative,” he says.

Jaqui Knowles, Exhibitions Curator at the Maritime Museum, says the exhibition concept came about after members of the Collections Team started identifying unexpected connections between people, places and vessels within the museum’s stored collection.

“We uncovered a whole host of interesting characters - including collection donors and volunteers,” she says.

Knowles says a personal highlight for her is being able to share the story of Hinemoa Captain John Bollons and his career.

“Bollons arrived in Bluff as a teenager and was taken in by the seafarer, Tohi Te Marama, after the ship he was crewing on wrecked. He worked his way up to the role of Captain and was employed on government steamers that serviced lighthouses around Aotearoa and patrolled the Subantarctic Islands for castaways. Bollons was an avid collector and had many adventures along the way, which you’ll be able to learn about in this exhibition.”

A web app developed alongside the exhibition also allows users to curate their own unique mini collections of maritime objects based on items in the exhibition and – once users have done so – discover their maritime persona: Captain, Collector, Friend or Adventurer.

The web app is free to use and doesn’t require users to download. Try it out here: https://interactive.maritimemuseum.co.nz/

Key information:

Exhibition Name: Captains, Collectors, Friends & Adventurers
Where: New Zealand Maritime Museum, corner of Quay & Hobson Streets, Viaduct Harbour
When: 1 December 2022 – 30 June 2023
Cost: Free with museum entry (museum entry is free for Auckland residents)

No bookings required.

Find out more

Captains, Collectors, Friends & Adventurers Web App: https://interactive.maritimemuseum.co.nz