Akarana is the museum's oldest vessel and is a rare example of a deep, narrow, heavily ballasted racing yachts.

Akarana was built in Auckland to compete in Australian regattas in 1888 and 1889, and is a a fine historic reminder of the friendly and often fierce sailing rivalry between Australia and New Zealand.

Akarana (Maori for 'Auckland') won its race in 1889 Anniversary regatta with a first prize of 20 pounds and 3 cases of Moet & Chandon Champagne. It stayed in Sydney for the next 100 years, then was rebuilt in New Zealand and presented to Australia as a bicentennial gift. In 1997, the museum completed the restoration of Akarana to its 19th-century specifications and glory.