Phar Lap's skeleton is being packed up as Te Papa prepares to send it to an exhibition at Melbourne Museum.
The bones will be reunited with the hide of the Timaru-born thoroughbred as part of a celebration to mark the 150th anniversary of the Melbourne Cup.
Phar Lap won the race 80 years ago.
The skeleton is being transported in crates specially designed by Te Papa to protect it.
Victorian Racing Minister Rob Hulls says the exhibition, which opens next week, is a huge deal for Australia. Hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected.
The skeleton will be returned next year.