Auckland Museum's season of marine draws to a close
Auckland Museum's season of marine draws to a close with record visitation for Moana exhibition and Tall Ships setting sail
Auckland Museum's marine exhibition Moana - My Ocean has one long weekend left before it closes but it has already broken visitation records attracting more than 160,000 visitors in the four months since it opened.
visitor numbers are the highest recorded for an Auckland
Museum-developed exhibition in the last two decades. The
exhibition opened in late June this year www.aucklandmuseum.com/whats-on/exhibitions/moana
Moana – My Ocean was developed following an Auckland Museum-lead expedition to the Kermadec Islands in 2011 and the two-year exhibition project saw the museum working with marine science and technology partners around New Zealand and overseas.
The exhibition – which is free entry – uses real marine specimens, 3D film, full-scale shark models, augmented reality and artificial intelligence to take visitors on a journey from Auckland's coastal waters through to depths of the Kermadec Trench.
Auckland Museum's head of natural sciences Dr Tom Trnski, who lead the Kermadec Islands biodiscovery expedition and helped to develop Moana, says one of the exhibition's strengths is that it evokes the feeling of venturing into the unknown.
"People think we've explored our world and seen everything there is to see and then you show them underneath the water and they realise we've barely begun. That's what this exhibition does - it stops people short and reminds them how much we have to learn, how much more there is to discover about how our marine environment."
The Moana - My Ocean exhibition is open daily from 10am to 5pm through to its final day this Monday 28 October.
Auckland Museum is also taking part in the Tall Ships Festival over Labour Weekend, with a team onsite at The Cloud next to the Voyager NZ Maritime Museum.
Embracing the marine themes of the festival, the museum will be displaying its five-metre tall ‘living’ taniwha, commissioned with dinosaur-creators Erth Visual & Physical. Throughout the weekend, the museum team will share the Maori oral histories associated with taniwha, including their role in signifying environmental risks and dangers.
There will be family-friendly games from the museum's Moana “Fishy Business” holiday programme and a craft activity for kids to make a shark jaw headband.
The museum will also be sharing specimens from its marine collections – a taster of the larger Moana – My Ocean exhibition on at the museum.
“Some of the specimens we’ll have on display include baleen, shark jaws, turtle and whale vertebrae and people will have the change to ask our team about our marine collections and the behind-the-scenes workings of the museum,” says museum senior programmer Rachel Prebble.
The museum’s contribution to the Tall Ship Festival has also extended to supporting two berths for young New Zealanders on the British tall ship the Lord Nelson.
Neville Rakena from the Nga Rangatahi Toa education centre in Otara will join the Lord Nelson for its voyage from Auckland to Wellington and sea cadet Tobias Miller will join the ship for the voyage from Wellington to Nelson.
This is the first visit to New Zealand for the 55-metre square rigged vessel which is on a two-year global voyage.
The Lord Nelson is crewed by disabled and able-bodied people and aims to promote the messages of equality and inclusion on its travels around the world.