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

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news