Visit Active Land in Te Taiao | Nature

Enter the realm of Rūaumoko, god of volcanoes and earthquakes, and explore the geological forces that shape our shaky land and experience what an earthquake feels like in our quake house in Te Taiao | Nature.


Ko Puna-te-waro, ko Rakahore, ko Hinepuia, ko te moko whakangaotanga o te whenua nā Rūaumoko e ngunguru nei ī au au aue ha!

What massive pressures lift Aotearoa New Zealand’s mountains, and trigger our volcanoes and earthquakes? How are we getting active in response to our active land?

Visit Te Taiao | Nature at Te Papa and follow the path of volcanoes down the North Island – blazed by two fire taniwha guardians. Discover the creative gifts of Rūaumoko: tā mokotā moko tattooing and tāniko weaving.

Hear people remembering the recent Canterbury quakes, and share your response.


  • Quake House: It’s back to give you a shake-up, so get ready to drop, cover, hold.

  • Tsunami Tank: Trigger a tsunami in a wave tank and watch its effects.

  • Erupt a Volcano: Crank up the pressure and cause an eruption.

  • Taupō Super-volcano: See an animation of the most ferocious super-volcano in the world, the creator of Lake Taupō.

  • Canterbury Resilience: Videos and an original chalkboard show how the community shared their feelings after the quakes.

Quake House, 2019. Photo by Maarten Holl. Te Papa

Reference landscape image courtesy of LINZ. CC BY 4.0

Tsunami Tank: Trigger a tsunami in a wave tank and watch its effects, 2019. Photo by Michael O'Neill. Te Papa (13634

Designing a quake safe building at the shake table. 2019, Te Papa

Whakarūaumoko | Active Land
Stories of resilience, 2019. Te Papa