ANZAC Week – The Great War Exhibition

This is the second post connected with ANZAC day 2015. As with the first one if you do not anything about the ANZAC’s then this post will provide you with the background.

Wellington is very much the centre of film production in New Zealand in that we are lucky to have Peter Jackson and the team from Weta Workshops based here. Over the last decade their special effects wizardry has thrilled audiences worldwide with the “Lord of the Rings” and Hobbit Trilogy.

Over the last couple of months Peter and the team from Weta have turned what used to be the Grand Hall of the old National Museum into an exhibition of World War 1. It is told life size as you walk through the story of the war.

The exhibition opened on the 18th April and will run for 4 years being added to along the way. It has attracted large crowds since it has opened. We were very fortunate that we got in at a time that they was no queue. Photography is allowed so below is a teaser of what is in there.

The team at Weta are very skilful at making everything look so realistic. You enter into a small village in Belgium.

WW1-1 WW1-2 WW1-3 WW1-4 WW1-5Then each year of the war is shown with the archway telling you the year.


The exhibition follows Peter’s grandfather through the war starting with him enlisting by lying about this age.



Peter has quite a collection of memorabilia and many of the elements in the  exhibition come from his own collection.


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In many places through the exhibition boxes contain the smells associated with the war. In the screens representing the tenches there was a real smell of damp earth.


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Around the exhibition are posters depicting modern sayings that had their origin in WW1.WW1-22

The last screen depicts a young Peter with his grandfather later in life.


When you get through the exhibition you enter a cafe and shop that has be done out like the inside of one of the ships that brought the troops home. You exist the shop via a gangplank down to the exit. Even up close the set looks real.

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