Quake City

Firstly, Happy New Year to everyone reading this post! It’s the start of both a new year and a new decade. I am really looking forward to 2020 and I’m hoping it will be a year of further growth and new experiences. There are some exciting things planned and plenty of museums and heritage places on the horizon.

My first post for 2020 is on Quake City, a museum attached to the Canterbury Museum that delves into the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. For those unaware, Christchurch recently experienced two destructive earthquakes in September 2010 and February 2011. The earthquake in 2011 caused the most damage and basically reduced most of the city to rubble. Just walking around the streets today, it is beyond inspiring to see how the city has started to rebuild itself. What has really stood out to me is how arts and culture is being integrated almost every step of the way. For example, there are so many large public art murals painted on the sides of buildings throughout the city centre. Quake City explores each earthquake and the aftermath, including displays covering survivor stories, liquefaction and the Student Volunteer Army (to name only a few). Continue reading “Quake City”

Canterbury Museum

Our first stop today was the Canterbury Museum located next to the Botanic Gardens. There are quite a few exhibition spaces within the Museum. You could spend the entire day here learning so much about Canterbury and its largest city, Christchurch.  I want to focus this review on three exhibitions: Slice of Life: The World Famous Dunedin Study, Squawkzilla and the Giants, and Christchurch Street. The first two are temporary exhibitions and the latter is a permanent display. Continue reading “Canterbury Museum”

International Antarctic Centre

The International Antarctic Centre isn’t strictly a museum, but does contain exhibitions and offers visitors a variety of experiences. These include the snow storm, penguin feeding/VIP experience, meeting huskies and the Hägglund Field Trip. My absolute favourite was meeting the huskies so there will be lots of photographs of adorable dogs in this post. I’m going to save the best for last and cover some of the other experiences first.  Continue reading “International Antarctic Centre”

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū

Greetings from Christchurch, New Zealand! We spent today exploring the city and visiting both the International Antarctic Centre and the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū. I am most excited to write about the Gallery. It is not only a spectacular building, but has an incredible array of works on display with the majority by New Zealand artists. Before sharing my favourite works, here are a few other highlights worth mentioning. Continue reading “Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū”

Wellington Botanic Garden

On our final day in Wellington we visited the Wellington Botanic Gardens, right at the entry/exit of the Wellington Cable Car. I mention the Cable Car because it is a very convenient and interesting way to get from the city centre to the garden. If you don’t like heights then it’s probably best to avoid. The garden is open from dawn to dusk with some exceptions, i.e. the cafe in the rose garden and tree top information centre. If you are visiting, I strongly recommend going on the website to check when everything is open. Continue reading “Wellington Botanic Garden”

Te Papa Tongarewa

Today was the day we visited Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa), the Museum of New Zealand. I had incredibly high expectations as I’ve heard nothing but amazing things. I am happy to say that Te Papa definitely lived up to these expectations and in some areas, exceeded them. We spent most of the day exploring the museum and its numerous fascinating exhibitions that are spread over five levels. The day included a highlights tour, a walk through most permanent exhibition spaces, and a visit to the travelling exhibition Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality. Similar to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, I am going to provide an overview of how we spent our day.

10.00 am

Te Papa doesn’t technically open until 10.00 am (everyday except Christmas Day). We arrived at 9.50 am so that I could take a few photographs of the exterior. We were surprised to discover that the museum had already opened – well not all of it. The cloakroom and ticket desks were open, but, the exhibitions were still roped off. Still, this is a great idea to ease crowd congestion building up outside before the museum officially opens and stagger the groups of people arriving wanting to cloak/buy tickets. Continue reading “Te Papa Tongarewa”

Wellington Museum

I have absolutely fallen in love with Wellington. And I’m saying this before having visited Te Papa, aka the main reason why we’ve come here. I literally select my next holiday destination based on what museums I am really wanting to visit. As well as Te Papa, I was looking forward to visiting the Wellington Museum which is located in the old Bond Store on Wellington’s waterfront. Originally, the building housed a small maritime collection. Over time, however, it has been transformed into a museum that tells the story of Wellington.

Like quite a few museums I have reviewed in the past, the only significant issue I had with this museum was that it was text-heavy. I was pretty much finished with reading after the first level. In saying this, however, there were some really interesting labels – I’ll talk more about this later. I’m going to go level-by-level and comment on a few highlights. Continue reading “Wellington Museum”