Te Papa Museum, Wellington

james's picture
Me outside the Te Papa Museum

Te Papa Tongarewa, The Museum of New Zealand, to give it its proper name, is a huge concrete building on the waterfront in central Wellington.

Entering, I find the cloak room who kindly look after my coat, and don't even charge for the privilege.

At the information desk the helpful assistant suggests the best way to see the museum is to take the lift to the top floor and work my way down.

So starting on the sixth floor, which has an exhibition of pottery by Peter Stichbury, an artist from Auckland. I can't say pottery is my thing (though I did a little in art class at school) but I did find it interesting.

Moving down to the fifth floor (the sixth had a relatively small exhibition area), artworks from many New Zealand artists, from both Maori and European traditions were on display. It's quite interesting to see how both have added influence from the other into their works over the years.

On the fourth floor, I find an exhibition of Tapa (bark cloth from islands of the Pacific). This is another very interesting aspect of cultures I know very little about. There were a number of huge animal masks which apparently are worn once at ceremonies and then burned to release the animal's spirit.

There was a lot of interesting information about the inhabitants of New Zealand, both Maori and more recent settlers, and the original treaty between them, which is considered the founding document of New Zealand. One thing I never realised is that Kiwi fruit don't actually come from New Zealand, but in fact China. Apparently they were known a Chinese Gooseberries until the Kiwi fruit name was picked as a marketing tool, and has been so successful that it's now used regardless of the origin of the fruit. In an effort to combat this, there's a more recent brandname reserved for New Zealand Kiwis, but the fact that I can't remember what it is suggest it's not catching on.

Also on the fourth floor (well, there's lots of stuff, I'm just picking a few highlights) is an example of a Marae (meeting place), which is a large wooden hut, covered in intricate carvings. It was somewhere around here that I bumped into an Irish couple (I recognised the accent first, but the guy was wearing a Connaught Rugby jersey, removing any doubt), so we were chatting for a few minutes. I had just arrived, while they were on the last day of a month in New Zealand. They were from Kildare, west of Dublin, but one of their mothers lives in Drogheda, where I live, so it really is a small world.

We parted company as we were both running out of time to take in the rest of the museum. The third floor is about geology and animal life of New Zealand, which is a pretty geologically active region (I'd earlier seen some paintings upstairs of beautiful pink stepped terraces that were a popular subject for painters until they were destroyed by a volcanic eruption in the 1840s).

The animal life covered both native and introduced species. I was most interested the Moa, the extinct flightless bird. There was also a special section on protecting the habitat from further contamination. This was cleverly set in a cargo container, full of goods that could be harbouring undesirable invaders.

Down to the second floor, which is sea life, and one of the highlights of the whole museum was the colossal squid that was caught in 2007. It was pretty amazing to see, even though it was only a juvenile at 4 metres long, and adults apparently grow much larger. There was a fun 3D movie about the colossal squids that gave a little more insight into what is known of their mysterious lifestyle.

I think I missed a bit, because I read there's also an earthquake simulator on this level, so I might have to go back.

There didn't seem to be anything on the entrance level. I didn't realise that apparently this is because there are huge rubber and lead shock absorbers that the whole building sits on. You can get down to have a look, so I might have to do that too.

If you find yourself in Wellington, I strongly recommend visiting the museum. It's one of the most interesting and varied museums I've ever visited, and lots of fun.

 

Comments

Wellington

Rachel Rankin's picture

We heard about this museum but didn't go there - preferring the cable car ride , botanical gradens and best of all - Tahi the one legged kiwi at Wellington zoo which they have trained to come out during the day for half an hour. Unmissable - you should go and see it its so sweet! We hope you have as much fun in Kiwi-land as we did - bestest R (+R) Rankin

はない(元の近視・遠視・乱視などの度数Chopard腕時計

メンズ腕時計's picture

はない(元の近視・遠視・乱視などの度数Chopard腕時計が相当強い場合や、左右の度数差が概ね2.0D以上ある不同視の場合も同様である)。遠距離用補正レンズ(台玉)の中に、小玉と呼ばれるより近距離用の度数の窓を作ったレンズ。

Museums are the wonderful

Amie J. Little's picture

Museums are the wonderful places to keep old and memorable things save. You must visit such places not only for entertainment but actually it helps you know about history. Using my website rushessay.com I am planning to research on ancient cultures and museum is a good place for this plan.

hell of fun

shah jee's picture

Oh my way
I really like to visited some historical place and want to spend my day and night to visited places. I know museums are the wonderful places to keep old and memorable things save. And when you have nothing to do then must visit such places not only for entertainment but actually it helps you know about history. Thanks for your article and valid information.

At first it was just going to

nnection's picture

At first it was just going to be something general, but then I thought there should be a science fiction connection.
192.168.l.l 192.168.l.254

Pregnancy

I just found out im pregnant's picture

Hello admin,
This is Sarmad Sultan. I have read your blog and it looks really amazing and I found that you have a lot of knowledge about visiting places and it is really a good hobby in your free time. Museums are the best way out to have visits because you can find here a lot of historical things. I had lot of fun in different museums before i got pregnant.
Thank you.

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