Dusky Sound expedition surveys New Zealand's oldest-known European shipwreck.

An expedition to Fiordland's Dusky Sound has surveyed the country's oldest-known European shipwreck.

The researchers gathered enough footage to put together a documentary for a Dunedin museum while carrying out ground-breaking archeological surveys.

Tamatea / Dusky Sound is remote and unforgiving country accessible mainly by sea or air.

It was a dream destination for a group of maritime archeologists and museum curators.

Their week-long expedition including a survey of the oldest European shipwreck in New Zealand waters - the 1795 Endeavour.

"It's the only physical remains - and the largest - from that time period. So to be able to dive it and actually record that part of history is just a huge honour," says maritime archeologist Matt Carter.

Dusky Sound is where Captain Cook first encountered southern Maori but this Endeavour was sailed by a different explorer 22 years later.

The shipwreck left 240 people marooned here. The site is one of three survey dives for maritime archeologist Kurt Bennett.

"First time this has been properly surveyed, and so the information we're going to pull out of this can just benefit the public. Future visitors will be able to understand the site better," he says.

A documentary series shot during the expedition for Toitū Otago Settlers Museum is now being released via social media.

Those images will also be played alongside artefacts in the museum, bringing to life their stories and history.

"People will be able to see 'alright, it's a boring looking piece of wood with a bit of copper attached to it'. Actually, it comes from the first European shipwreck in New Zealand," Toitū Otago Settlers Museum curator Sean Brosnahan says.

There are more than 50 archaeological sites across the region.

Heritage NZ Assessment Advisor Sarah Gallagher was excited to see where conservation pioneer Richard Henry lived on Pigeon Island.

"He built a house there. And he built a bird pen out of punga logs. And the remains of those are still there, you can still see them today," she says.

Those stories of the people and history of Tamatea / Dusky Sound now captured for future generations.