New Zealand’s top drone racers bring thrills and spills to Te Papa

8 February 2017

Tickets are selling fast for the first ever drone race held at a national museum.

Twelve racers will go “drone to drone” in Te Papa’s Bush City on Saturday night.

“These drones can go from zero to 100km in two seconds and reach speeds of up to 150km an hour,” says Te Papa spokesperson Kate Camp.

“With the drone’s eye view projected up onto the huge screens, you can watch them race around Te Papa’s Bush City, and you can get up close to the pilots and their machines.”

“The sound these things make and the speed they travel at is phenomenal – they are incredibly lightweight, and designed to smash on impact when they crash.”

“The crowd should be ready for some high speed sprints, aerial acrobatics, lots of thrills… and some pretty awesome collisions.”

The drones are fitted with small cameras giving the pilot, who wears goggles, a drone eye view of the race course. Using remote controls they guide the drones around the course.

New Zealand’s top three drone racers, alongside five New Zealand representatives who competed at the 2016 World Drone Racing Championships in Hawaii, will battle it out as they race drones around obstacles at high speed.

Ms Camp said running a high speed aerial race within Te Papa’s courtyard required some careful planning.

“A lot of paperwork goes in to organising an event like this – we have all the permissions in place to let us bring these high speed drones right into the heart of the waterfront.”

The drones would be racing within Te Papa’s courtyard and would only be visible to ticket holders, Ms Camp said.

The $20 entry price gets you trackside seats for the drone races, music from DJ Jedi, along with entry to the blockbuster Bug Lab exhibition, which will be open to 9pm for drone race ticket holders only.

Food and drink from Te Papa’s Red Gates bar will be available for purchase.

Media contact

Kate Camp, Communications Manager
029 601 0180