Secret World of Butterflies

Thousands of stunning butterflies from around the world will go on display for the first time in a spectacular exhibition at Auckland Museum from 9 June 2018.

Be amazed by a kaleidoscope of colour and patterns in this family-friendly exhibition that reveals unbelievable butterfly facts and is packed full of interactive activities.

Zoom in on a digital monarch, crawl through our large-scale caterpillar, take a butterfly selfie, and create your very own butterfly and unleash it into a magical digital garden.

Secret World of Butterflies explores the science of butterflies such as metamorphosis, anatomy and habitat and is perfect for young explorers and lovers of the natural world.

“This exhibition is made possible by the generous donation of Ray Shannon’s entire collection of 13,000 butterflies in 2008 and is supported by the R.T. Shannon Memorial Trust. Ray Shannon was a war veteran and collector with a passion for exotic butterflies,” says Tumuaki Chief Executive Dr. David Gaimster.

“This exhibition supports one of the key goals in our five year strategy to engage every schoolchild and become a vibrant place for learning, enabling young people in particular to realise their potential,” he says.

These butterflies will be displayed in 111 trays, and will change out twice during the show, with 333 trays featuring some 6,000 butterflies over course of the exhibition.

“The exhibition highlights Auckland Museum’s world-class natural sciences collections. It’s an opportunity for our curators and scientists to share their knowledge and these taonga with the public,” says Auckland Museum Director Collections and Research David Reeves.

A beautifully illustrated children’s book Secret World of Butterflies has been created to accompany the exhibition, full of fascinating facts about butterflies, written by Courtney Sina Meredith and illustrated by Giselle Clarkson, in partnership with Allen and Unwin.