What's On @ Otago Museum | Week of 23 September 2019


Q+A with Science Presentation Coordinator


What do you love about your job?
The best part of my job is meeting heaps of people and working with the new generations, with their amazing energy and vitality. The world is full of problems, but there are always solutions for any problem, and in my job as a science communicator, that is the best part. I get to think about how science can help us solve the problems we have in our society today, from climate change to obesity.

A more scientifically literate society is a better society, no matter what you do in life, whether it is art, music, politics or cooking, science is always there to help. Sending that message to the new generations and engaging in good conversations about how science can allow us to live better is the best part of my job, and delivering really cool science demos is part of it all too! Below is a water volcano erupting in Nelson’s Nayland College a couple of weeks ago.


What’s your favourite gallery and why?
Taking Tūhura out of the list as I don’t think this is a gallery as much as it is an amazing science centre, my favourite gallery has to be Southern Lands, Southern People. It is full of rocks, which have been my passion since I was little. I came to New Zealand from Spain to study geology, and it didn’t take long for me to start coming to Otago Museum to enjoy the amazing collection of fossils on display, from the biggest fossil in New Zealand (the plesiosaur), to the ancient penguins and dolphins that once swam around right where we are today. Southern Lands, Southern People is full of amazing stories from a time when the world was tropical, and some amazing animals and plants enjoyed a land very different to the one we live in today.

If you could make any collection item come to life, what would it be and why?
With night at the Museum in mind, there are lots of things I would like to bring to life! But I’m going to choose the moa now. I’d love to see it walk, and run, and to see its behaviour around other animals and also around other moas! I’d like to see a group of moas run free around the Museum interacting with visitors and each other. Let’s bring the moa back!


If you were locked in the Museum overnight, what would you do?
With all the sleepover groups we run this has happened to me before, so I would do more of the things we do when we stay the night at the Museum: I would enjoy the galleries at night, and the tropical forest! And then have a good sleep in some cool place. The key to a good night's sleep is to choose a place in which you wont be woken up during the night. At the Museum, that has to be far from the Atrium, as the cleaners come in really early… My sleeping choice would be in the light area of Tūhura, where I could experiment with light just before going to sleep!

Amadeo Enriquez Ballestro
Science Presentation Coordinator



Have you ever had your heart broken? Do you own an object that won’t let you forget? Give it to us, and join a global exhibition of loss and healing.

We’re seeking your objects of memory and loss; anything that reminds you of a cessation of a relationship, whether it be a lover, a friend, family, or anyone else who has left a hole in your heart.

The selected objects will be on display at Otago Museum from 21 December 2019 to 15 March 2020.

Donations can be made until Friday 1 November 2019
More information about how to make a donation here.




This month, Professor Lisa Ellis of the University of Otago's Department of Politics will discuss the enormous environmental impact of air travel, and some of the ideas that could address this issue, including the Swedish phenomenon of flygskam (or flight shame).

Made popular by teenage activist Greta Thunberg and Olympic athlete Bjorn Ferry, flygskam is an anti-flight movement gaining momentum across Europe that encourages people to choose alternative transport instead of flying in order to reduce carbon emissions.

Free | 5.30pm, Tuesday 24 September | Ombrellos Kitchen & Bar
More information here



Ahoy there! Take the plunge into our galleries with an ocean exploration-themed gallery trail during the school break.

Otago Museum gallery trails are a perfect day out during long school holidays. Take your favourite small person on a treasure hunt through the Museum and follow the clues to collect your prize!

Free | All day, Saturday 28 September – Sunday 13 October | Collect your trail from the Info Desk
More information here



Have you noticed it's humid in our forest? Ever wondered how much rain falls in a rainforest?

Experience rainy season in Tūhura's Tropical Forest! Get set to get wet, and learn how a rainforest and its inhabitants adapt to the rain. We're opening the heavens to saturate our forest with the most crucial compound in forming life – water.

Included with admission to Tūhura Otago Community Trust Science Centre
2.30pm daily, 28 September – 13 October

More information here



Enjoy some jazz, swing, and rhythm and blues at the Museum with Bare Essentials.

With little more than an acoustic guitar, maracas, and a saxophone, they’ll create an afternoon of soulful, joyful music.

William Davidson – vocals/percussion, John Meddings – guitar/vocals, and Tony Stephen – saxophone/vocals/percussion.

Free | 1pm, Sunday 29 September | Atrium Level 1
More information here


Limited spaces are still available for Dunedin's coolest and most unique school holiday programme!
Available themed days include:

Body of Art 
For centuries, people have decorated their bodies for entertainment and adornment. From body art and piercings, to make-up, hairstyles and fashion, explore the galleries to learn about the ways that cultures have expressed themselves through the ages. 

Happy Halloween 
Don’t be scared of monsters – we’ll take care of you. Let’s get our scare on and prepare for the world’s spookiest holiday.

...and more!

Half day sessions: $30, full day sessions: $55
Weekdays from Monday, 30 September to Friday, 11 October 2019.

Book here