Matariki Star Cluster

A day out at Te Papa – the Museum of New Zealand

If you’re looking for something to do the next time you’re in Wellington then look no further than the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Our national museum is crammed full of great exhibits for all the family and there is always something new and exciting coming to the museum so no trip is ever the same. We take a look at the top three exhibits at Te Papa at the moment:

1.      Matariki

Image of the Matariki Star Cluster

Matariki Star Cluster

Matariki is the celebration of the Maori New Year and is a time to come together with family and friends and reflect on the past, celebrate the present and look to the future. The Maori New Year is celebrated around the end of May or early June each year and comes around when the seven Matariki stars, also known as Pleiades or the Seven Sister appear in the sky once more. The Matariki Festival at Te Papa has been running since 2001 and is a family friendly event which includes start gazing, kai demonstrations and Kaumatua kapa haka (action songs performed by Maori elders).

You can find out more about the exhibit here.

2.      Gallipoli – the scale of our war

Image of the Memorial Stone at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli

Memorial Stone at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli

Still running at Te Papa is the ever popular Gallipoli exhibition, a wonderful collaboration between Te Papa and the Weta Workshop to create an exhibition like no other. This fantastic exhibition will be running until April 2018 so plenty of chance to come and see for yourself and learn more about te story of the Gallipoli campaign in World War I through the eyes and words of eight ordinary New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. The exhibition features cutting edge technology which was used to create 3D maps, projections, miniatures, models, dioramas and interactive experiences that bring this story to life.

You can find out more about the exhibition here.

3.      The Colossal Squid

Image of the colossal squid on show at Te Papa Museum, Wellington

colossal squid, Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni Robson, 1925, collected 2008, Ross Sea, Antarctica. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (M.277964)

This is an attraction for the whole family and something like you have never seen before. From the deep waters of Antarctica to the star attraction at Te Papa, the colossal squid has been on a long and incredible journey. This amazing colossal squid has eyes the size of footballs and amazing rotating tentacle hooks which are guaranteed to grab your attention. This long term exhibition lets you learn more about the colossal squid as well as being able to relive the capture, thaw and examination of the colossal squid on ‘squid cam’. This is the only complete colossal squid on display anywhere in the world and is well worth a trip to Te Papa to see this amazing exhibit.

You can find out more about the colossal squid here.

Family favourites

As well as these stunning exhibits, there is always something going on for kids and families from the discovery centres to the family trails. Te Papa is a great place to take the family, especially in the colder winter months when you are looking for something to do indoors. The next time you’re in Wellington, be sure to make a visit to Te Papa.