Monday morning had most of us waking at about 8, apart from Skying who had barely slept on my couch and had decided to book into the YHA for the next night so he would be well rested to drive the next day. After showering and eating breakfast (a feat in itself!), we departed for Te Papa, stopping at the YHA so Skyring could drop his luggage off there.
We started off in my favourite part of the museum - Our Space - which is a new collaborative exhibition about identity. There are 5 parts to this exhibition, the two rides (High Ride and Deep Ride which you have to pay for), the map, the wall, and postcards. As you walk into Our Space, you walk directly across a huge satelite picture of New Zealand divided onto square panels. Under some of the panels are sensors, and when you stand on a sensor panel, the region covered by that sensor lights up and a picture or video is shown on a corresponding screen on the wall.
Once you walk across the map, you come to the postcards. This is essentially a screen showing photos floating across, as if they were being blown across it by the wind (and I've since found out it moves with your movement!). I had somehow managed to miss this part of the exhibition every other time I'd come in (only 2 times in my defense) and to my utmost surprise there were pictures of and by me floating all over the thing! Suddenly I realised what that tick box was for when uploading my files to the database!
How these three parts work is that anyone can go to the website (http://www.ourspace.tepapa.com
) and upload pictures and videos that represent New Zealand to them. There are also images/clips from tvnz (TeleVision New Zealand). When you upload pictures etc, you can then choose which part of the exhibition you want them to be available on, and I had just been blindly clicking that it was fine to have my pics on postcard!
*end short interlude*
So, to the third part of Our Space, the wall. All this is is a long, long screen on one side of the room, and touch screen computers on the other side. On the computers, you can search for any terms you like (such as bookcrossers etc) and it will bring up any pics/clips tagged with that phrase. You can choose up to 5 pics/clips etc and then upload them to the larger screen. Then you can put them where ever you want, animate, enlarge, graffiti over, among other things! As you can probably tell, this is my favourite part!
The 5 of us had some fun in these areas (minus the rides), littering pictures of ourselves and Ringbear all over the wall, and then headed to Awesome Forces.
In Awesome Forces, our geology themed long term exhibition, we jumped to see how big our earthquake would be, experience an earthquake in the earthquake house, and learned all about the Maori view of how the world was created.
After that we went to Mountains to Sea to learn about New Zealand's flora and fauna, including having a look at the colossal squid. It took us a while but we eventually all got 3D glasses to see the squid movie :D
After seeing the squid, we quickly ducked into NatureSpace, one of the areas I work in based around our natural environment. Had a look at the life sized whale heart, and the microscopes, and then went outside to Bush City.
Probably the major highlight of Bush City (an outside area with trees, a waterfall, glowworm 'caves', and a place for kids to 'dig' up a mosasaur skeleton) was making Skyring go across the swing bridge 3 times - the first time I took a photo, second a video (then realised my camera doesn't like portrait orientated videos), and finally another video.
By this stage we were all getting hungry so I went and picked up my bag and we headed to New World to get some food. Despite Skyring's requests for a lunch location that was sunny, wind free AND had magnificent sea views, I took us into a favourite spot of mine just next to Te Papa. It may not have had magnificent sea views, but it was sunny and windless, and I was happy to gaze upon everyone's happy faces! Especially after the sceptical looks I'd felt on my back as I lead everyone directly into the wild for part of the walk!
After lunch, which was eaten with much hilarity with only one sharp knife and no chopping boards, we packed up and made our way back to Te Papa, suffering an enormous queue to check my bag away again. We then made our way up to the third floor, which has another long term exhibit called 'Blood, Earth, Fire', and is about New Zealander's impact on our land.
It didn't take us long to get through this exhibition - I just sorta left everyone to their own devices, and felt a little guilty about it, but everyone seemed happy looking at what they wanted to look at, and I don't have to be embarassed when they realise how little I know about stuff in the museum!
Next up was level 4, which focuses on groups of people in New Zealand. We started off at the Britten bike - a really fast bike :p and I think most of us took photos for Moem, Rubberchicken and Phoenix....
We then headed to another of the areas I work in, Inspiration Station, which focuses on art and history (but not so much art history for some reason!). I was determined to get a photo of us all together on the computer - we have this awesome programme where you can take a photo of yourself and then draw over it, so I managed to get everyone together and then they looked around while I edited...I know I had fun!
We then quickly walked through one of our smaller exhibitions about colour, and one with French sketches, and then I signed us up for Golden Days, which is a fabulous 'show' inside a junk shop where things come to life. Kind of like a short history of New Zealand...if you are ever at Te Papa, you MUST go and see it!
The waiting list for this was quite long, so while we waited, we had a look at the Pasifika exhibition...I showed everyone the war memorial inside the exhib! And then we headed to Planet Pasifika...where Skyring and I got dressed up :D
When we got sick of Planet Pasifika, we went and sat/looked at the view out.
Eventually it was time to go and see Golden Days, so we went back and lined up for a few minutes, until it was time to go in.
After Golden days, we had all had enough, and it was almost time to go and pick up MissMarkey from the airport, so Alkaline-kiwi and Earok left us to return to Pulsar Max, and Skyring, k-j-h, and I caught the bus to the airport.
We arrived at the airport with heaps of time to spare, so headed to the Qantas lounge where we all got a drink (mine had a free chip of glass in it!) and I checked my email, where I found a pm from MM, telling us she was wearing a bookcrossing polo shirt, which was helpful in finding her!
A few minutes before her plane was due to land, we all headed to the gate, and I held up my sign (ripped out of a notebook, so not that big, but better than nothing right!)
A bit of debate as to whether we were at the right gate, as there wasn't anyone coming out, but soon enough people started streaming past us, and eventually we saw her! Hugs all round and we then went to find her luggage. Didn't take too long, and we were soon in a taxi to Macs, for the planned meetup with Sherlockfan and Edwardstreet (not a man!).
We got to Macs, and saw Alkaline-kiwi and Earok just crossing the road, late as usual :p Inside Macs we found SF and ES, and discovered that Macs was only staying open till 6 (I assume because it was Easter Monday), so we decided to go to one of my favourite restaurants, One Red Dog, which was open!
We ordered, most of us pizza, which is the restaurants speciality, and chatted away! The food arrived after a while, and we ate, swapping slices here and there.
After dinner, we left, SF and ES for home, Skyring for the hostel, and the rest of us with MissMarkey's bags between us to my house. Got to the bus stop about 2 minutes after the bus was due to leave, but luckily it was a bit late, so we didn't have to wait for the next one!
At home everyone blobbed in the lounge, while I ran around packing all my stuff ready for the next day, and taking photos, uploading pics to flickr etc, and then we made our way to bed, as we were being picked up at the crack of dawn the next day by the shuttle to the ferry terminal.