Yes, there's a mummy and dinosaur bones, but the highlights of this museum are more local and more recent. The Māori galleries contain some beautiful pounamu (greenstone) pieces, while Christchurch Street is an atmospheric walk through the colonial past. The reproduction of Fred and Myrtle's gloriously kitsch Paua Shell House embraces Kiwiana at its best, and kids will enjoy the interactive displays in the Discovery Centre (admission $2). Free one-hour guided tours depart from the foyer daily at 2pm.
The 4th-floor cafe has lovely views of the gardens and surprisingly decent coffee.