The building itself is a very nice modern looking one. I should have taken a longer shot as the front of the museum is really nice architecture.
Your first sight entering the lobby. A giant Moa. Probably their most prolific of natural history subject as you'll see. Not the same kind of focus here on Moas as the Tyrrell has with Dinosaurs, mostly due to it's being a general museum as opposed to natural history. This is one of 3 fleshed out mock up of the giant birds, but what makes this one extra special is it is in the front lobby to try and prompt you for money. The mound she is standing on is their donation bin.
This life size sun fish greets you at the far end of the lobby right beside the staircase to head up to the various levels and their exhibits. The first two floors were various human history galleries. Included was a section on New Zealand (go figure), the Maori (again a shock), peoples of the pacific all the way from down here up to Alaska (didn't see this coming to be honest), and special exhibit which was Antarctica at this stage in the game, and lastly the natural history halls on the third floor.
Hanging above the various cases of fossil whales was the lower jaw of a modern day Sperm Whale which was COOL. I plan on venturing North up the southern island at some point during a break, and go to see some of these guys alive and in the wild.
Just on the other side of the Moas are the other fossil displays. Including this "little" guy a definite primitive relative of the Great White Shark (unlike Megalodon which is now thought to only be distantly related). This guy was only a tad bit bigger then a great white but weighed three times as much!!!
Now I kinda altered the third floor gallery to present this guy last in this entry. He comes just after the whales in the front door, and is right beside the Moas. This is of course their Mesozoic item a medium sized Pleiosaur. It is the largest and most articulate fossil collected ANYWHERE in New Zealand and was found just an hour North of Dunedin. Making this area kind of the Drum of the South island. Especially taking into consideration the fact that most of the fossil whales and sharks are from the same general area as this marine reptile (though different aged rocks!!!)