History Gallery



Explore some of Southland’s diverse history. Key displays include maritime heritage and disasters, immigration treasures, colonial exploration, pioneer settlement, and early agriculture and industry. Learn about the rapid changes in technology over the past 100 years and discover some of the precious ceramics from the museum’s collections.


The History Gallery currently has a special focus on whales, whaling and the Antarctic. Here visitors can learn about these giants of the ocean, their evolution, and how humankind has impacted on their past, present and future. The Antarctic section looks at exploration and scientific understanding of the world’s least understood continent.