Smash hit exhibition helps Puke Ariki set new visitor record

05 April 2018

Puke Ariki’s latest exhibition is a monster hit!

Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs helped NPDC’s Puke Ariki museum set a record for the highest number of visitors in a single day since it opened in 2003. 

The museum had 4091 visitors from Good Friday to Easter Monday with 1920 visitors on the Saturday, breaking the previous busiest day record of around 1700 set by Bugs: Our Backyard Heroes in January last year.

“We are delighted that both visitors and locals are enjoying our latest exhibition and also taking time to explore our Long Term Galleries as well,” Puke Ariki Manager Kelvin Day says.

Permian Monsters is in the Temporary Exhibitions Gallery and includes five life-size animatronics and one life-sized model of the creatures which roamed the Earth between 298 and 252 million years ago. 

Kids get to explore and identify fossils in interactive ‘dig pits’ and there is also a soundscape when the animatronics are activated by people walking past them. 

NPDC’s Puke Ariki has a number of Long Term Gallery projects underway that will see parts of the museum refreshed in the next few months. 

A display in the Taranaki Life Gallery will look at the arrival of the Plymouth Company in Taranaki while there will be a refit to the Thompson’s Hut and both exhibits will feature interactive elements for all ages to enjoy. 

Permian Monsters: Fast Facts
Permian Monsters runs at Puke Ariki Museum until 9 September.
Permian Monsters is curated by Gondwana Studios which has taken the exhibition to two other museums in New Zealand.
The Permian era was from 298 to 252 million years ago.
It started with an ice age and finished with a massive extinction event, believed to have been caused by volcanic activity causing climate change.
All the continents came together during this time to form the mega-continent Pangaea
Some 95 per cent of marine life was wiped out at the end of the period including trilobites which had been around for 270 million years.
Kids at Permian Monsters Exhibition 2018