Based around what is currently the world’s 9th oldest ship, this museum captures a slice of New Zealand's history in one of the most authentic ways possible. The physical body of the Edwin Fox – a teak and timber trade ship constructed in India back in 1853 – sits alongside the actual museum, allowing visitors the opportunity to walk through its carefully-maintained innards. This provides an intimate look at what life would have been like for both paying customers and convicts alike, with no additional modern updates or embellishments. The ship had a colourful and eventful history in its time before being decommissioned in 1897. Being involved in a variety of things including war, trade and shipping convicts to Australia, there is a lot to discover about the ship at the museum. With placards at various points outlining their respective items in detail, and a fascinating DVD presentation documenting both the ship’s history and its preservation learning about its expansive history couldn’t be easier. There are also various artefacts from the period kept in the museum’s upstairs area like shipping keys, ropes, types of timber and all other types of maritime-related historical goodies. The actual hull of the ship is easily the highlight of the whole vessel and walking inside will let you experience the likes of sleeping and eating accommodations that passengers had to deal with when crossing the ocean in the 1800’s. The dry dock underneath the ship is also interesting in its own way, and provides an additional perspective on its scale and structure. All of this is, of course, a credit to the fanatically enthusiastic volunteers who have put a ton of effort into the entire project, making for an exhibit that is a must for all to witness.