Awesome ForcesNgā Au Kukume

Feel the earth move under your feet and see how seismic shifts created New Zealand’s landscapes.

Experience the powerful geological forces that change the surface of the planet. Explore how they have shaped New Zealand’s unique landscapes, plants, and animals. Find out why tectonic plates shift, what causes earthquakes, and how New Zealand split from the supercontinent Gondwanaland 83 million years ago.

When | Āhea

14 Feb 1998 – 2 Apr 2018

Where | Ki hea

Level 2

Cost | Te utu

Free entry


All ages


40 minutes

Accessibility | E wātea ana ki
  • Realistic earthquake sounds, and there is an optional earthquake simulation. Visitors may find this distressing.

  • Wheelchair accessible. Ramp access to the earthquake house is available from its exit.

Find out more about accessibility at Te Papa

  • A house with a shaking floor simulating an earthquake

  • Dinosaur fossils and life-size models

  • A sound and light show about the Māori story of creation, and the enduring relationship between the land, its people, and the forces of nature

  • A seismic station and other interactive experiences

You can also learn about the role of the Earthquake Commission – a national agency that provides natural disaster insurance – and find out how to stay safe in an earthquake.

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