"I wanna hang a map of the world at my house. Then I wanna stick pins in the locations that I`ve traveled to.
...But first I have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won`t fall down."
-Mitch Hedberg

Monday, April 12, 2010

Wellington - Part Two - Te Papa Museum

Next stop on our (S)Wellington Extravaganza!...the standout attraction in Wellington is their world class museum – Te Papa. Loosely translated as “our place”, Te Papa is a beacon of art, culture, history, and sophistication that attracts over 1 million visitors each year. Six stories and an external “Bush City” display art, natural history, and interactive exhibits intertwined amidst an ever changing tapestry of visiting shows from around the world. They even have these sweet shiny mirror thing-a-ma-jigs outside.

Admission is free (suggested donation, but really who are we kidding) to all but the special collection galleries like “A Day in Pompeii” and other limited engagements, and it includes access to some mind blowing sights. Most notably, the Colossal Squid on display in the natural history section on the first floor.

This specimen, encased in glass and formaldehyde, and stretched out for viewing is eerily like the alien autopsy scene in Independence Day. The total length of the squid is 4.2 meters, and the eyeballs are the size of soccer balls.

Care and I spent a pretty large chunk of time in the natural history section – mostly because I’m a huge nerd – but the “Reactive Architecture” exhibit was another one that caught our attention. This green architectural think tank showcases new ways that energy is thought about in several different designs, ranging from simple umbrella photic displays to full fledged floating “barge” cities. For other examples of green architecture, check out “Building Green on Montrose”, an innovative, eco-friendly renovation of a 100-year old rowhouse in Philadelphia.

We spent hours in the museum, pointing things out to each other, watching captivating movies and reenactments, taking 1840's immigration surveys, gawking at fossils, and enjoying ourselves while we soaked up New Zealand culture, art, and history. Te Papa became “our place” by the end of the day, and this amazing collection is something that every visitor to Wellington needs to make part of their trip.

And don’t forget to take at least 500 pictures in front of the shiny mirror thing-a-ma-jigs out front. Yeah, in your face, Chicago Bean. New Zealand has reflectve surfaces too.

"Seen It" - a comic by Shawn Forno

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  1. What about the kids section?? Is it weird that that was my favorite part?

  2. those are always the best part of museums!