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Welcome Back!

After seven weeks, Otago Museum is very excited to be opening its doors again to the public this Saturday 16 May.

The Museum will be open 10am - 5pm, with the Café opening at 9am and closing at 4pm.

As with every other public space and business in New Zealand, there will be new protocols for everyone coming in, to ensure public health is protected as best we can – we’re aiming for a gold standard so our visitors can feel confident about coming back in to visit our collection.

Protocols include:

  • A single point of entry for public through the main automatic doors
  • Hand sanitiser available and to be applied before entry
  • Spaced queuing outside so we can manage visitor numbers (along the lines of supermarket protocols)
  • Sign in on entry in case tracing is required
  • One in / one out for tickets and other purchases at the Shop
  • 1 m distancing from those not in visitors’ own bubble
  • Seated service at the Café with restricted numbers
  • Increased cleaning schedules, especially for high-touch areas
  • Contactless payment is available and preferred

There will be staff on hand to help and direct people, and to remind them of the protocols.

We have taken expert advice from the University of Otago about best practice cleaning and safety for our high-touch interactives in Tūhura Otago Community Trust Science Centre this week, and we have closed or modified access to those interactives accordingly. We have also paused First Flight and other regularly scheduled activities to avoid the need for people to congregate in small areas.

The Perpetual Guardian Planetarium, which has a regular capacity of 51, will be limited to 15-20 people to accommodate appropriate spacing.

In both places, and elsewhere in the Museum, people will be asked to maintain a 1 m distance from those not in their own bubble. This may mean that there is a wait time to enter some galleries and displays.

A thank you

As an acknowledgement and grateful thanks to our community of essential workers, for keeping the city going, healthy, and fed, we have invited them, through their workplaces, to visit Tūhura for free with their immediate families for the rest of May. All they need to do is present their essential worker letter at the Shop to receive tickets for entry.

We are aware that there is a large number of essential workers in Dunedin, so we do ask that people are patient while we manage visitor numbers and capacity carefully.

A combined entry

While we are working through the Alert Levels, the entry price to Tūhura will include the opportunity to see a show in the Perpetual Guardian Planetarium. These free 20-minute shows, called Tūhura Space Tour, will run at 11.30am and 4pm on weekdays, and 11.30am and 3pm on weekends – please note, with limited capacity in the planetarium, it is strictly first in, first served.

There will also be a paid screening of The Sky Tonight at 1.30pm each day.

Booking a venue

Our venues are also open for business again, with most previous bookings rescheduled and new ones being accepted. The capacity of our spaces has been modified to accommodate the Level 2 requirements and, along with the other measures in place for commercial clients, will be monitored to ensure they are working well. Enquiries can be made to venues@otagomuseum.nz.

Events and public programmes

Events have been rescheduled and are in planning with safety measures implemented. So far, these include:

  • Teddy Bear Hunt and gallery trails – free throughout the Museum
  • Live @OM | Georgi Hampton – Sunday 31 May
  • OM Friends in Focus | Ian Griffin – Tuesday 16 June
  • Yoga with the Butterflies – Thursday 18 June
  • Astrophotography Made Easy – Saturday 27 June

Details are available at www.otagomuseum.nz/whats-on.

Contact tracing

We are using an app to collect visitor contact information which simply requires that they scan a QR code on entry into the Museum. The Museum will not retain any personal data.

Visitors who do not have a personal device (phone or similar) will be able to sign in manually, with the help of our staff.


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