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Accessibility info for Surrealist Art

The exhibition is displayed through a series of galleries. It has one entry and one exit.

Lighting levels change through the exhibition.

Floor coverings change through the exhibition.

There is some recorded sound, and films (including one projected film), in three of the six galleries.

Low, soft wire barriers are in front of some artwork. Some works are in cases.

One small area is not suitable for mobility scooters. We do have wheelchairs available to hire for free.

Pre-book a wheelchair

Pre-book a mobility scooter


You will need to buy tickets for this exhibition. Your ticket allows you a single entry only – you can’t leave and then go back in again using the same ticket.

Book tickets
Book tickets for a relaxed viewing session

If you are 16 or over and require the assistance of a friend or support person to attend, we will make a free ticket available for your companion. The companion ticket does not need to be booked or requested in advance, it will be issued on the day upon arrival. For any further information please contact enquiries@tepapa.govt.nz.

You may need to queue at the entry to have your ticket scanned.

There will be Te Papa Hosts and security staff at the entrance, and in the exhibition if you have any questions.

Accessibility info by gallery space


  • Small gallery.
  • Dark with black plush carpet on the floor.
  • Recorded music – offbeat and ethereal.

A Surrealist Revolution

  • Very dark. Walls and roof are painted black. Spotlights shine on artworks around the walls.
  • Black plush carpet on the floor.
  • Recorded music – offbeat and ethereal.

Dada and Surrealism

  • First area has irregular shaped display areas on either side.
  • Floor slopes slightly midway through the gallery.
  • First area has vinyl floor. Second area has concrete floor.
  • Seating.
  • Recorded voices broadcast at a low level from sound trumpets set into the walls.
  • Two black and white films. Entr’acte (Intermission) is a large projection featuring fast-changing flickering images. The soundtrack is orchestral music, often changing in style, tone, and rhythm, not necessarily aligned to what is happening in the film. Anemic Cinema has some spiralling images. It is a silent film.
  • One animation, with low levels of sound, like typing, writing, cutting with scissors. Mostly black and white with some colour.

Wharepaku | toilet

  • Located on the left in the gallery.
  • All gender, accessible.

The Dreaming Mind

  • Dark blue gallery walls.
  • Concrete floor.
  • Circular enclosed area with gaps to walk in and out.

Enter a Dalí painting (immersive experience)

  • Large projection across three walls, zooming in on details of a painting.
  • Watch your step – low light and uneven floor.
  • Floor slopes down from left to right as you face the screen.
  • Carpet tiles.
  • Seating.
  • Recorded sound includes sound effects like water and a marketplace, music, and voice of Dali, from an interview in 1963: ‘The name is “paranoiac-critical method” because [it] is one spontaneous method of knowledge based [on] the instantaneous association of delirious material.’

Chance and the Irrational

  • Concrete floor, carpet underneath the activity desks.
  • Interactive installation where you can write, draw, or record your dreams.
  • Two black and white films, both silent.


  • Works in this gallery contain nudity and sexual themes. You can choose not to enter this space.
  • You go in and out of this gallery between curtains made of clear plastic strips hanging from the roof. These curtains have a synthetic scent.
  • Concrete floor.
  • Seating.
  • Two black and white films. L’age d’or (The Golden Age) has a varied orchestral score, which sometimes includes voices such as a crowd, and the sound of the wind, or a dog.  La Coquille et le Clergyman (The Seashell and the Clergyman) is silent.
  • The sides of three cases have surfaces you can touch: one velvet, one leather, one silicon.

Strangely Familiar

  • Vinyl floor.
  • Floor slopes slightly midway through the gallery.
  • Recorded music – offbeat and ethereal.
  • Immersive experience in a small room near the end of this gallery where you can enter one of the paintings. You may have to wait to do this. This area is not suitable for mobility scooters. We do have wheelchairs available to hire for free. Pre-book a wheelchair or pre-book a mobility scooter.


  • The exit opens onto the area near the entry.