Our Abel Tasman Displays

The theme of the first meeting between local Maori (Ngati Tumatakokiri) and Abel Tasman’s crew is the focus of our largest permanent exhibits. Local scholar Robert Jenkin recreated the clash of cultures on 18/19 December 1642 in his dramatic diorama, showing the ships, waka, people and landscape. Supporting information is in large drawers beneath the display.


Alongside sits a touchscreen computer with access to interactive displays bringing the text and sounds recorded in Tasman’s journal to life, and the Discovery Game which tests your own navigational skills on Tasman’s west coast route. These interactive are also available online, on Robert’s personal website click here.

Robert has also begun a new series of paintings on the Tasman voyage, the first of
which “Hello Farewell” is now in the Museum collections. Copies of this painting, and of
images from Tasman’s journal (in The Hague) are available as greeting cards.


The Museum is also home to Ron Aaron’s splendid 1/25th scale model of Tasman’s ship the Heemskerck, which is on long-term loan to the Museum, along with supporting
documentation and plans of the model.

Aaron model

Click here for more about Ron Aaron and his model