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Te Taiao Whānau Fun: Freshwater

Dive into fun activities for the whole whānau and learn about freshwater of Aotearoa.


  • When | Āhea Sat 29 Jan 2022, 10.00am–3.00pm
  • Where | Ki hea
    Te Taiao | Nature and Bush City, Te Papa
  • Cost | Te utu Free event

This event has been postponed due to Wellington being at the Red | Whero setting. We will announce a new date soon.


Drop in with the whole whānau for a day of fun science activities, deep diving into the wetlands, streams, rivers, and lakes of Aotearoa.

Meet scientists from Te Papa and Wilderlab, get up close with the bugs and plants that keep our vulnerable freshwaters healthy, get crafty, and learn how you can be a kaitiaki of our waterways.


Ask an Expert

10am-3pm – Amphitheatre, Level 1 (wet weather: Wellington Foyer, Level 2)

Meet scientists from Te Papa, Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), and Wilderlab. Get close up with some freshwater critters, learn about their DNA, and discover how they can be used for important freshwater conservation work.

Entomological Drawing

10am-3pm – Whare Rākau | Tree House, Te Taiao | Nature, Level 2

Learn the basics of entomological drawing with an activity created by Josh Mackinnon. Josh MacKinnon is an ink and watercolour artist living on the Kapiti Coast. He draws inspiration from nature with a particular interest in New Zealand invertebrates.

Bug Craft

10am-3pm – Te Papa Hui | Backyard, Te Taiao | Nature, Level 2

Get crafty! Build a super bug, or start your home science kit with a DIY water spy.

Talk: Freshwater Plants

11-11.30am & 12.30-1pm – Bush City, Level 1

Join botany curator Leon Perrie for a wander through Bush City to learn about freshwater plants. Please note capacity is limited for these talks – sign up at the event. 

Demonstration: Freshwater Sampling

12pm & 2.30pm – Amphitheatre, Level 1

Get your feet wet with entomology curator Julia Kasper and learn some methods and techniques for sampling macro invertebrates in your local waterways.

Puppet show: Nan and Tuna

1.30-2.15pm – Bush City, Level 1 (wet weather: Rongomaraeroa | Te Marae, Level 4)

Anna Bailey of String Bean Puppets performs Nan and Tuna: Marionettes, shadows and water puppets combine to tell the fascinating life story our endangered longfin tuna and the difficulties they face on their long journey back to their birth place.


This event will proceed if Wellington is at the Green or Orange setting under the Covid-19 Protection Framework. Please check Te Papa’s requirements for entry under this framework.

Leon Perrie guides a group of children through Bush City. The children are looking at small leaves under magnifying glasses


Botanist Leon Perrie giving a tour in Bush City during DOC Whānau Day, 2020. Photo by Jo Moore. Te Papa