Exhibitions On now

Volcano graphic

Active Land Whakarūaumoko

Enter the realm of Rūaumoko, god of volcanoes and earthquakes, and explore the geological forces that shape our shaky land.

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!

See all Te Taiao | Nature spaces
  • When | Āhea Permanent exhibition
  • Where | Ki hea Te Taiao | Nature, Level 2
  • Cost | Te utu Free exhibition
  • Ages | Te reanga All ages
  • Allow | Me whakarite 30 minutes
  • Accessibility | E wātea ana ki
    • Wheelchair accessible
    • Subtitles on all videos
    • Dark space with large-scale volcano animation
    • Bass-frequency sound
    • Quake House with realistic shaking
    • Seating near exit for relaxing and watching video
    • Lots of hands-on interactives

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?

Follow the path of volcanoes down the North Island – blazed by two fire taniwhataniwha 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, creator of Lake Taupō.
  • Canterbury Resilience: Videos and an original chalkboard show how the community shared their feelings after the quakes.

For educators Mā te pouako

Delve into the forces that shape Aotearoa, see how Te Papa’s treasures are kept safe during tremors, and play with an earthquake simulation in Minecraft.
Earthquake Encounters primary education visit

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