I have been to the Gallipoli exhibit twice now once on a Friday afternoon and once on a Sunday afternoon. The first thing I will tell you is that if you can, go on a weekday! It is far easier to get around with a few less people.
There is almost always a line to get in, sometimes this can be super fast other times you can wait hours but it is worth it! Once you walk in you are hit with the first massive model of a soldier. I can’t even begin to tell you the realism of these sculptures. Everything from their fingernails and hair on their knuckles to the scrapes on their elbows. It’s quite lucky that they made them in such a huge scale or you really would think they were going to start talking to you. I was so impressed with the skill and workmanship that it has obviously taken to create these. I mean someone made real boots in what must be a size 200!
One of the things that makes it more real is that playing on overhead speakers is letters and diary entries from that particular soldier. They also have it in their handwriting appearing on the walls. This really brings it back home that these are not just sculptures and works of art, these are real people.
In between the sculptures there is also a timeline and lots of other exhibits relating to WW1, I did find both times I went that they were quite hard to get around and the second time I went I saw things I didn’t see the first. It’s quite hard not to feel rushed with the barrage of people shuffling behind you. It would be easy to spend a couple of hours in there reading and looking at everything, but simply with the volume of people in there at any one time it’s near impossible to see everything.
We took Miss 4 with us obviously and she was a little apprehensive at first but I did explain to her before we went in that there were going to be big statues in there and they weren’t real but that someone had made them. The second time we went into Te Papa it was the first thing she wanted to see and took great pride in warning her dad before we went in that there were big people in there and not to worry because they weren’t real!
It is a really enjoyable exhibit but I would suggest if you go that you will need to go a second, third or even fourth time to be able to take it all in. The day we went the first time we had just gone to The Great War Exhibit at the Dominion Museum and I will say that I did enjoy that more partly because we got to take our time because it was just us and one other family in there and I really enjoyed the layout of that one more. With the one at Te Papa there were so many different things to look at and you could only move forward because there was always at least 20 people behind you. Also it gets very hot in there so don’t wear a coat in there like I did!
Overall I really enjoyed the Gallipoli exhibit, I think it’s a great tribute and showcases some amazing talent in the way it was curated and designed.
Have you been yet? What did you think of it?
Check out some of my other travel articles perfect for families!
The Great War Exhibition
Wee Red Barn
Rural Day Feilding
Wellington LUX Festival
Disney On Ice
Feilding A&P Show