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86 treasures to travel for: New Zealand's best museums

Steampunk HQ, Oamaru. Photo / Camilla Rutherford

You name it and there will be a museum or collection that glorifies it, and they are on our doorstep, writes Ewan McDonald

Everyone knows about the important museums such as Te Papa and Auckland. What about the hidden collections in our small towns, or eccentrics up and down the country who've turned their obsessions into an institution?

There's a myth about New Zealand – actually, there are a lot of myths about New Zealand – but the one we are going to explore here is that it's a young land, and there is no history here.

Oh dear, how wrong. This is a young nation but it is also an ancient place. We maynot have a written chronicle that stretches back to William the Conqueror but we have our own dynamic, energetic and frequently oddball story.

Find it in our museums - from the big institutions to the neighbourhood collections, our military and technological memories, and a lot of places that are just for fun.