Crowds flock to 'Challenging the Deep'

Inside the "Challenging the Deep" exhibition, from environmentalist and film-maker James Cameron....
Inside the "Challenging the Deep" exhibition, from environmentalist and film-maker James Cameron. PHOTOS: PETER MCINTOSH
Crowds of families poured into Otago Museum for the launch of an exhibition on the mysteries of the ocean yesterday.

Nancy Hutchinson (4) chats to a penguin who was entertaining children at the exhibition.
Nancy Hutchinson (4) chats to a penguin who was entertaining children at the exhibition.
"The James Cameron: Challenging the Deep" exhibition opened at the weekend, and runs until February 9 next year.

Dunedin is the only city in the country to host the exhibition, which looks at environmentalist and filmmaker James Cameron's explorations.

Cameron worked in special effects before directing films such as The Terminator, Titanic and Avatar.

The day featured talks from a series of Niwa scientists, hands-on activities for children, and screenings of documentaries Under Pressure: Making "The Abyss" and Aliens Under the Deep.

The exhibition itself brings together items from Cameron's diving expeditions, among them his exploration of the wreck of Titanic.

Dunedin mother Joey Smeaton described the exhibition itself as "absolutely amazing", and said her children had particularly enjoyed seeing a model of the Titanic.

Among the speakers was Dr Richard O'Driscoll, who has led voyages to the Antarctic. He spoke to a packed room about his experiences.

Families flocked to the exhibition yesterday, the last day of the school holidays - and museum board chairman Prof David Hutchinson called the launch "fantastic".

There were activities for children to enjoy, including boat-making, getting close to marine flora and fauna in the University of Otago's New Zealand Marine Studies Centre aquavan and touch tank. Dan and Tracy Thomas brought their children, Pippa (5), Layla (3) and Chloe (1) along to the exhibition, and said a highlight had been the aquavan.

Museum prices

Otago Museum has changed  admission prices for its ticketed attractions, including  the new exhibition ‘‘James Cameron — Challenging the Deep’’.

The new prices also apply to  the science centre and planetarium, and took effect yesterday.

Key changes include:

Community services card holders will pay the lower child price for admission.

Concession tickets reduced from a 10% to a 20% discount on the adult price.

One family price — admitting four people with up to two adults — replaces the previous two prices.

Adult entry price to planetarium goes up from $10 to $12, to match the 3-D entry price at the facility.

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