Groundbreaking new exhibition at Te Papa

Photography by: New Zealand Tourism/Te Papa o Tongarewa.

New Zealand’s natural heritage is about to emerge in a spectacular new form as our national museum, Te Papa in Wellington, prepares a ground-breaking exhibition

The biggest change to Te Papa since the museum opened will be unveiled to the public on 11 May.


Te Taiao Nature, Te Papa’s $12 million nature zone, is described as "a bold and immersive journey through the natural world of Aotearoa New Zealand, combining cutting-edge science with matauranga Maori (knowledge and understanding of the universe)".

The 1400-square-metre zone is a permanent new addition to the museum and includes four main exhibition themes:

  • Ika Whenua Unique NZ explores New Zealand’s weird and
  • wonderful wildlife
  • Ruaumoko Active Land explores the geological forces that shaped New Zealand 
  • Te Kohanga Nest focuses on the fragility, beauty and power of the natural world
  • Nga Kaitiaki Guardians looks at some of the big environmental challenges facing Aotearoa New Zealand  

A priceless moa egg, one of only 36 in the world, will be at the heart of the new space. The moa was a species of giant flightless birds that were hunted to extinction by early Maori and Europeans.

Te Taiao Nature will feature over 1200 collection items from New Zealand’s natural world, along with dozens of new interactive experiences, from creating your own tsunami to weighing in against a giant moa.

While the exhibition is completely new, two old favourites from the original nature exhibition will return: the colossal squid and a revamped Earthquake House. Source: New Zealand Tourism

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