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What a great place! Discovery has several rooms full of natural history objects. Much of the material is at a child-friendly height and available to touch.

There is comfortable seating, and it really is a place where all ages can find something of interest. Frequent visits are well worthwhile, as the volume of material means that there is always something new to see.

Do you know what this is?

Some of the material that you can find there includes:

  • collections of rocks, bones and shells that can be picked up
  • mounted skeletons (bats, snakes, birds, seals, polar bear skull etc.)
  • preserved animals in jars (brittle stars, the stages of frog development etc.)
  • mounted stuffed animals (alligator,  sloth, lion, birds, giraffe, tuatara etc.)
  • dried plants
  • collections of eggs
  • collections of pine cones and wood samples
  • displays of butterflies
  • live animals (fish, tarantulas, bumblebees)
  • drawers of insects, birds, crabs, rodents, fossils, snakes etc.

    A wall of animals

  • toy animals to play with
  • nature books and magazines such as National Geographic, New Zealand Geographic, Forest & Bird
  • globes hanging from the ceiling
  • a microscope and viewing lenses
  • slices of minerals, with a polarising lens to view them through
  • replica dinosaur skull, vertebrae etc.
  • sand boxes for a fossil dig
  • jigsaws and a 3D jigsaw of a plesiosaur
  • a meteorite
  • nature documentaries you can watch
  • photographs

And the animal that looks a bit like an armadillo? – a pangolin. Very cool.

More information about opening hours etc is here.

There is a whole room covered in butterflies

Butterflies - there is a room covered with these

Fossil shark teeth - 12 million years old

Minerals in one of the drawers

Brittle stars

"Black" birds

Shells in a drawer; others are out available to pick up

Beetle in resin, ready for viewing under a microscope

Flickr Photos

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