Early mapping

The narrow islands of New Zealand did not appear on a world map until 1646, after Abel Tasman’s visit in 1642.

Part of story: Early mapping

Traditional waka ama

Waka ama is the New Zealand term for the sport of outrigger canoeing. The name distinguishes an outrigger canoe from other types of waka (canoes).

Part of story: Waka ama – outrigger canoeing

Measuring the ocean

In the winter of 1874, scientists on the Challenger expedition threw dredges over the side of the ship when it visited New Zealand waters, probing the

Part of story: Ocean currents and tides

Underwater beauty

Locations The richness of New Zealand’s underwater environment became apparent in the 1950s, as divers discovered locations such as the Poor Knights Islands and Hen and Chickens

Part of story: Diving and snorkelling

The first naturalists

When exploring the natural world, people encountered plants and animals that became part of their culture.

Part of story: European discovery of plants and animals


Māori ascents

Part of story: Mountaineering

Walking for work

Explorers When early Europeans set out to explore the land, they were mostly guided by Māori, along traditional pathways.

Part of story: Walking tracks

The Māui gas field

The beginning of offshore exploration By the early 1960s, changes in technology made it possible to explore for oil and gas in shallow offshore waters. After

Part of story: Oil and gas

The meaning of canoe traditions

The canoe (waka in Māori) traditions or stories describe the arrival in New Zealand of Māori ancestors from a place most often called Hawaiki. They also refer to the

Part of story: Canoe traditions


Part of story: Nelson region

Eastern Golden Bay

Golden Bay 2013 population: 3,756

Part of story: Nelson places