‘So vast, so fabulously a varied scatter of islands, nations, cultures,
mythologies and myths, so dazzling a creature …’
Albert Wendt, 1976
Forty thousand years ago, people began venturing into the Pacific. In the last 3000 years, they have voyaged throughout this vast ocean, settling its scattered islands and exploring its mysteries.
Voyagers: discovering the Pacific, was an exhibition that opened at Te Papa in 2002, with the aim of changing many people’s understanding of how our part of the world came to be explored and populated. It told the stories of how New Zealand and the rest of the Pacific was discovered and how the search for adventure in the Pacific continues today.
The exhibition told the dramatic stories of four of the Pacific’s most famous voyagers – Kupe, Captain Cook, Tevake, and Sir Peter Blake. Te Papa examined where these important voyagers came from, and how, where, and why they travelled. Voyagers profiled their major achievements and offered insights into the navigational techniques they used. Here you can view a small selection of stories from the Voyagers exhibition.