Known colloquially as Te Papa, or Our Place, this Museum has become one of New Zealand's premier tourist attractions. From the recent discovery, transportation and display of a 20 metre giant squid, found in the depths of the Tasman Sea thorough to a full fledged Marae (Meeting Place), Te Papa bustles with over six floors of activity.
The earthquake house lets you experience what's it's like to live in one of the most earthquake prone countries in the world by quite literally shaking things up! You can also walk through native forest and examine over 2500 plants and animals on display complete with lighting and sound effects. Look up to see the massive sperm whale skeleton!
One of the most popular exhibits is the Golden Days recreation. Entering a junkshop is the catalyst for a review of New Zealand's achievements and nation shaping events. You'll see footage of runner Jack Lovelock winning gold at the 1936 Olympic Games and famous All Black victories. You'll hear about disasters such as the Mt. Erebus crash in Antarctica and the sinking of the Wahine ferry within sight of the Wellington shoreline.
Popular with the kids is the hugely interactive “Awesome Forces” exhibition. It shows New Zealand's unique position astride two massive tectonic plates and the effects of volcanic eruptions both on the land and it's people. Don't miss the sound and light show which tells the Maori account of creation and the deep relationship between the land and it's people.
For those with a historical bent, you can see a replication of New Zealand's founding document - the treaty of Waitangi in the Signs of a Nation exhibit on the fourth floor, the bones of Phar Lap, a legendary racehorse, the cannon from Captain Cook's ship, the Endeavour, and John Britten's motorbike, a prime example of “kiwi ingenuity”. It's a definite must see!
55 Cable Street, Wellington.
04 381 7000