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Te Papa’s blockbuster exhibition Bug Lab a huge summer success

11 April 2017

Te Papa’s spectacular science exhibition about the genius of bugs closes after a hugely successful four month season, on Easter Monday, 17 April.

Created by Te Papa and Weta Workshop, the high impact, hands-on experience gives visitors the chance to learn from the genius of bugs. Visitors enter a colourful, magical space, marvel at large-scale bug models, and explore hands-on science.

Te Papa Chief Executive Rick Ellis says the exhibition has been incredibly popular with visitors of all ages.

Bug Lab exceeded our expectations and has had over 130,000 visitors across four months. Their feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Mr Ellis.

Mr Ellis says the hands experiences and other worldly environment of the exhibition proved a big hit, particularly with children.

Some visitors' comments:

  • “There are many fascinating things about our planet that escape our knowledge until exhibitions like this come along.”
  • “I loved the interaction the kids were having and the parents were joining in.”
  • “It was amazing. So interactive and the dragon fly experience was just WOW.”

“The huge scale bug displays, crafted by Weta Workshop, created sheer awe and wonder,” says Mr Ellis.

The exhibition reveals stories about the lives of bugs which have developed over millions of years, with 92% of visitors reporting that they learned something new about bugs.

“Science and technology education is hugely important for New Zealand’s future, and Bug Lab has been getting people excited about these subjects,” Mr Ellis says.

The dragonfly chamber has been a visitor favourite, closely followed by the interactive honeybee versus hornet challenge.

Exhibition Creative Director and co-founder of Weta Workshop Richard Taylor says Bug Lab is an exceptional experience. 

“Myself and the team at Weta Workshop were enthralled by the opportunity to collaborate with our friends and colleagues at Te Papa,” he says.

“We worked together to design and build a wildly creative, wonderfully engaging and exciting educational exhibition.”

Bug Lab delivers a unique look into the lives of some extraordinary inhabitants of our planet.”

The exhibition has been designed to travel the world and is confirmed to exhibit in Australia and America. 

Bug Lab at Te Papa closes on Easter Monday, 17 April with last entry at 5.30pm. The museum closes at 6pm.