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There’s something about whales…

Since Whales | Tohorā opened at Te Papa on 1 December 2007, visitors of all ages have been touched by these extraordinary mammals and their stories.

Almost 90,000 people from all over the world have come to see the exhibition – over 3,000 attended on Saturday 16 February alone! (Te Papa’s 10th birthday celebrations).

Bruce Roberts, leader of the team of Te Papa Hosts on the floor in the exhibition, gets to hear some special comments:

A heart surgeon really liked the life-size model of the blue whale heart and said, ‘if humans had arteries that size I’d be a happy man’!!

Some visitors hoped to see live whales in the exhibition – maybe in a big tank?! We haven’t worked out yet how we’d feed them … the whales that is!

Save the Whales CD artwork by the children of Toddler’s TurfRecently, we were given a special CD – a whale song made up and recorded by children age 2-5 years from Toddlers Turf Childcare Centre, Manukau, Auckland.



Artwork for Save the Whales CD by children from Toddlers Turf Childcare Centre, Auckland

Part of the money raised from sales of the CD will be given to The Great Whale Trail – a donation account with Greenpeace to help track whales and end whaling in the Southern Ocean.

Hear an extract of the song [media no longer available]

To buy the CD you can contact Blakelock Records (09) 263 7625 or email blakelockrecords@xtra.co.nz

These are just a few examples of how Whales | Tohorā is touching people’s lives – has it touched yours?

Write in and share a story with us!


  1. To Bruce Roberts: I graduated HS w Joyce, was in band w Troy and went on 5-10 dates w Doug. YOU I only met once, before they moved to Fair Park — this is my first visit to your museum’s website. Looks like a great place. I volunteered a bit over the years at New Bedford Whaling Museum – It is all whales and the people who worked in support of the Hunt.
    I also used to be the live-in curator at Arrowhead, Home of Herman Melville, where he wrote Moby-Dick and several other works.
    What a great museum you have! I must go back to the site now.
    Be well, Catherine “Chavi” Reynolds

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