Fodor's Expert Review Whanganui Regional Museum
For an overview of the region's history and one of the country's best collections of Māori artifacts, drop into this museum by Queens Park. It contains taonga (Māori ancestral treasures) of the river people and some wonderful waka (canoes), as well as carvings, jewelry, ornaments, kiwi-feather cloaks, greenstone clubs, tools, bone flutes, and ceremonial portraits. The museum also re-creates 19th-century pioneer-town Wanganui in a series of traditional shop windows filled with relics and curios. Another highlight is Te Pataka Whakaahua (the Lindauer Gallery), which displays 19th-century paintings of Māori leaders by respected artist Gottfried Lindauer.