Space Place


Tuesday4:00 – 10:00 pm.



Friday4:00 – 10:00 pm.

Saturday10:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Sunday10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

40 Salamanca Road, Kelburn

04 910 3140

‘Come in and see the universe’ is all the encouragement you should need to make your way through the cool, dark maze into the exhibition area at Space Place, where everywhere you look are interactive displays and facts to blow your mind. You might as well begin with a bang, and a big one at that, so start by reading the first display which explains how at one point immediately after the Big Bang the entire universe would have been contained in a single grain of sand. From there things only get more brilliant and if you were planning on leaving with the same perspective you came in with, you can think again.

There’s plenty to learn about Māori and Pasifika mythology too. Apparently, the night sky played a huge role in their navigation of new lands as well as their storytelling, and if you’ve ever wondered if you might be as strong as Māui, you can even try catching the sun for yourself. Matariki is well explained here too, and you can listen to enchanting stories that explain the importance of the Māori New Year while simultaneously brushing up on your Māori planet names.

Upstairs in the dome you can check out the magnificent Thomas Cooke telescope which on clear nights you can navigate with to see the stars of the Southern Skies. The Thomas King observatory can just be seen out the window on the neighbouring hill, and as the first public observatory in Wellington, it alone is a firm reminder of how much space exploration can intrigue whole communities. If you’re coming to watch something at the planetarium, there are over 10 different shows to choose from, each offering something to wow audiences of all ages. Seeing what the world looks like from an astronauts point of view or exploring the Earth’s climate system, these planetarium shows take you head on into a cinematic experience that will rival any latest releases.

There’s a hushed atmosphere in Space Place that likely comes from visitors being blown away by what they’re reading, and with no rush to leave, you’re welcome to stay and soak up as much information as you can.

Words by Rosie Morrison & Photography by Anna Briggs

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40 Salamanca Road, Kelburn

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