Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Auckland Museum's Weird & Wonderful Gallery



PHOTO CAPTION: Eye to eye with a dinosaur at the relaunch of Auckland Museum's Weird & Wonderful Gallery

Auckland Museum's Weird & Wonderful Gallery has re-opened its doors ready for the summer holidays and for its 20th year entertaining kids and families.

At the launch Basil the dinosaur - a steadfast favourite at the museum - came out snapping as it was announced he'll be offering special guided Weird & Wonderful Tours over the summer.

Hot favourites with the kids included the virtual glowbugs that respond to being picked up or having their sand habitat changed - and they turn into butterflies when two of them meet.

"They're really cool the way they climb on you and if you take them too high or drop them they go splat," says Jack Rudolphe, one of the 180 children who attended the official breakfast opening.

Another favourite was the child-sized nest fitted with beanbags and books.

"I like the nest because it's good for hiding and looking out from. I can see everything but they can't see me and I like it because its dark," says five-year-old Isabella Boersen.

Weird & Wonderful's old gallery favourites have been joined by new interactive technology with today's relaunch (Saturday 1 December) at Auckland Museum, almost 20 years after it first opened in 1993.

The gallery has been closed since September this year for a renovation to give the well-loved spaces and displays a new lease of life - and to introduce some new additions including glowing, virtual bugs that respond to children's movements and a hands-on lab space.

The new lab space will cater for hands-on experiment sessions in the gallery and this summer will provide the hub for the museum's weekly science series.

Many of the gallery's popular favourites will remain in Weird & Wonderful including the live cockroaches, a massive array of bizarrely beautiful insects from the museum's collections and some larger animals including a lion and a brown bear.

To celebrate the re-opening of the gallery the museum is holding a special Weird & Wonderful opening day on Saturday with free face-painting, craft activities and some special live creepy crawly guests.

Live animal specialist Brian Lawton will be there with large spiders, lizards and his now-famous turtle Boris who is the star of a regular ad series.

The open day is also a chance for children to see some of the new additions in the gallery including an iPad natural history research table, a human-sized nest, perfect for children to climb inside and read a book, and a massive colouring window.

"Weird & Wonderful has always been a great space for children to explore the natural world, and to do it in a memorable way that allows them to touch things and find out some of the answers for themselves. The changes allow for more of those discoveries and connections with the world around them," says exhibition developer Lily Frederikse.

"The gallery's last makeover was in 2002 and with hundreds of children visiting the gallery every day it was in need of some TLC."

"It is a well-loved space so in planning the refreshed gallery we've been conscious of retaining the features that people love to see like our Arctic Group with the polar bear and the musk oxen."

Showing the melding of old with new in Weird & Wonderful, The Artic Group has now been exhibiting at Auckland Museum for almost 100 years. Prepared by London-based taxidermists, the animals arrived at the museum in 1906 having been purchased with money from a £500 bequest specifically for "procuring larger mammals and necessary display cases".

"As much as we're introducing new technology, it has been about introducing new ways of telling our stories so we've introduced features like an object trail that will draw children and their families to explore more of the gallery and find out about all of the weird and wonderful creatures in it."

A special, free programme of activities will be offered on Saturday (1 December) to celebrate the re-opening of the Weird & Wonderful Gallery:

. 10am - 12.30pm
Face painting: Have your face painted as a Weird & Wonderful creature.
. 10am - 4.30pm
Weird & Wonderful craft activities with our gallery team.
. 2pm - 4pm
Weird & Wonderful Creatures Up-Close with live animals specialist Brian Lawton.

Throughout December the Weird & Wonderful Gallery has great weekend activities and its regular toddler programmes during the week and in the summer holidays there will be daily activities including the Polar Express for the over fives and the 'Space in Time with Einstein' science series for older kids on Mondays and Wednesdays.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

TV3 Videos: Key's Flip-Flop Over Whale Oil Texts | Slater
Reaction: Greens | More
Dim-Post Link: The Very Odd Slightly Left Of Centre

Gordon Campbell: On Government Arrogance

Right now, National is ramming anti-terrorism measures through Parliament. This legislation will grant the SIS the power to carry out 48 hour bouts of surveillance on anyone without a warrant, and will bestow on government the power to unilaterally revoke anyone’s passports and thus deny them the freedom to travel.

Ludicrously, the public has been given exactly one day to make submissions on these major infringements of their civil liberties. Despite Finlayson’s misleading signals on RNZ that these are only stopgaps until next year’s full review of our security laws, the measures in question will not, in fact, expire until 2018.

Why the insane rush? Good question. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Key Texts With Whale Oil Released: PM Can’t Be Trusted Over Dirty Politics Defence - Greens

John Key’s answers to questions about dirty politics can’t be trusted, after he was forced to admit that he had misled journalists and Parliament about contact with attack blogger Cameron Slater, said the Green Party today.. More>>

ALSO:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

White Ribbon Day: Govt Resumes Sexual Violence Trial Proceedings Work

Justice Minister Amy Adams has asked the Law Commission to resume work on proposals for better supporting victims of sexual violence through the criminal process. The Law Commission will revisit its previous work on alternative pre-trial and trial processes to identify options for improving complainants’ experience in court. More>>

ALSO:

"New Faces, Wise Heads": Andrew Little Announces New Labour Line Up

Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Rick Ellis As Te Papa’s New CEO

The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial goals as he did at TVNZ, while similarly neglecting the serious cultural side of his mandate. More>>

Passport Cancellation, Surveillance: Draft 'Foreign Fighters Legislation' Released

The final draft of the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill contains proposals previously announced by Mr Key in a major national security speech earlier this month. More>>

ALSO:

Related

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news