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Volcanic rugby

Drop kicks, sheep cam and the history of New Zealand


Over the past three days we’ve spent time in two excellent but very different museums; one small, one big; one pricy, one free; one entirely about rugby, the other about everything under the sun (and in some cases the sun itself).

The first was in Palmerston North and was requested by the notorious rugby fan Rach – The New Zealand Rugby Museum. We had a bit of a struggle locating the place as it wasn’t where it said it would be on the map. That did however mean that when we turned up at the new building everything was shiny and new (aside from the artefacts that is, that would be a little strange in a museum). It was a little pricey for what it was but still a good museum. It is based in one large room which is interesting as you can see everyone else in there and we had a bit of snake going with the other five visitors as we followed the information boards around the edge. There were some brilliant pieces of rugby history in there and it held the interest of even those who are less enthusiastic about rugby. It did however become a little repetitive in some parts and due to the massive amount of information that had to be taken in some of it got a little confusing.


The best part though had to be the interactive section where we got to practise our rugby skills. Alex had a slight advantage being a rugby player himself and got some decent scores on the running, the line-out jump and the scrumming. Rach however proved a little more flight of foot when it came to the tackle bags and managed to shave a whole second off Alex’s time. We spent a good couple of hours there but couldn’t have managed the entire day.


In contrast the Te Papa Museum could’ve taken up an entire week and we’ve already made plans to revisit on our way back through Wellington when we journey back to the North Island. There are five floors bursting at the seams with exhibitions covering a wide variety of topics to do with New Zealand. Instead of doing our usual and trying to work our way through each one, as there were too many to comprehend we simply looked at one of the boards, selected the ones we each liked the sound of, picked a meeting time and dived right into the action. Alex as a bit of a science nerd headed straight for the forces section showing all of the major forces at work in the Earth. Rach went off for the more historic approach and went to see the New Zealand in the twentieth century exhibition, covering NZ’s relationship with other countries but also its social history.

These were just the tip of the iceberg and we spent as much time as we could there before we had to head off to our campsite. We did however make plans to return the following day and proceeded to spend most of the day just wandering through the exhibits absorbing the information around us. It was an exceptional place and very obvious that a lot of thought had gone into the display of each and every single subject and article. There was even an amazing interactive room which was slightly reminiscent of the Minority Report with a giant screen where images could be manipulated. Sadly they weren’t controlled by gloves but instead wands that looked a little like torches. It was a brilliant space to be in, much like the rest of the museum.

Rex’s Rules of the Road

  • The Rugby Museum does have a cost of $12.50, worth it for some, not for others.
  • The Te Papa Museum is free although if you are driving parking will come at a hefty price, unless you are willing to walk quite a way. Check out the car park next to the pricey museum car-park for a cheaper stay.
  • There are plenty of tours to do at Te Papa although most of these do come at an extra cost.
  • If you want to see Te Papa properly plan to spend at least a day and a half there although maybe spread it out with something different in between, too much at the same time can be mind numbing.

Posted by rexontheroad 21:14 Archived in New Zealand

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