Te Papa Museum
Wellington - New Zealand
Te Papa is officially New Zealand's national museum.
It first opened in 1998 and now has over 25 million visitors per year (not bad considering there are only 4.5 million people in all of NZ).
Highlights of the Te Papa Museum
On Level 2 you have the Awesome Forces exhibit which includes an Earthquake house (it's a room) that shakes as it does in an earthquake. On the same level is the Mountains to Sea section which has a sample of New Zealand's incredibly diverse animal and plant life. Also on Level 2 you will find the only complete Colossal Squid specimen for viewing (only place in the world where it can be seen).
On level 4 is the incredibly beautiful Te Marae (Maori meeting place). The colors, the design, the aura... unlike anything you will have seen before.
There is free WIFI throughout the museum so you can post your favorite photos onto your social networks.
The museum is free though you can take guided tours for a small price.
The Gallipoli Exhibition
Right now (until April 2018) you must visit the Gallipoli: The scale of our war exhibit on Level 2. To mark the centenary of World War One, Te Papa joined forces with Weta Workshop (the one behind the Lord of the Rings Trilogy) to create an exhibition that tells the story of eight ordinary New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances at Gallipoli. Each of the eight people are 2.4 times human size and made with incredible detail (get close and look at the individual hairs on the arms!). These 8 statues took over 24000 hours to create (without including even more hours of research about each person). Though there are not only these giant life-like statues on display, there are many models, projections, miniatures, 3D maps and interactive experiences to bring the First World War to life. I highly recommend seeing this if you can (entry to this exhibition is free).
Kid Friendly Museum
This museum is set up so that kids can enjoy the different sections with a hands-on experience. There are so many things children can play with... buttons to push, things to move around, costumes to put on, musical instruments that can be played and much more.
We spent a whole day here and then our kids wanted to go back again the next day... so we did!
Where is Te Papa?
55 Cable Street (down on the waterfront)
Open: 10am-6pm every day of the year.
FREE Entry (Though charges may apply to some short-term exhibitions)
Parking is available (it is not cheap) including a special outdoor parking area for campervans.
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