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The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (a mouthful, we know) is the national museum and art gallery of New Zealand, commonly know as 'Te Papa'.
Te Papa Tongarewa is translated from Maori as 'the place of treasures of this land'.
Located on the Wellington water front, there are six floors of incredibly varied exhibitions dedicated to the unique culture and natural environment of New Zealand, the seas surrounding it, and also the people who have shaped the country's history and who make it what it is today.
A visit to Te Papa allows you to chart the history from pre-human New Zealand with all its weird and wonderful, but sadly, extinct animals and birds, such as the moa, to the settlement of the Maori and, further on in time, the Europeans, right up until the 21st century.
Being the country's national gallery and museum, there are not just exhibitions to visit but also plenty of events and interactive activities for all ages to engage in, whether it be 'New Zealand in Vogue' or the early encounters of the Pacific, Maori and European peoples with stories of their first encounters played-out!
It's a truly fascinating place to visit and you could easily spend more than one day there.
Do not miss the "Quake Braker" exhibition just outside of the main Te Papa entrance doors - it gives a really interesting and impressive insight into some of the latest 'earthquake protection' engineering employed in building construction, with views of the 'shock absorbers' in place beneath Te Papa itself.