Circumnavigating New Zealand — Te Papa Tongarewa Museum; Gallipoli Exhibit

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Over the past several weeks I’ve brought to you our 2019 Wellington, New Zealand experiences aboard Majestic Princess. This week we return to Wellington with images of our 2020 excursion aboard Radiance of the Seas. We arrived in Wellington on 10 March 2020, and this time headed off to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa at 55 Cable Street, which is the national museum of New Zealand (pictured above). Sharing the walkway with the museum is the picturesque Circa Theatre:

Circa Theatre, 1 Taranaki Street

On this day we had a rather good stroke of luck. Inside the museum was a limited run exhibit dedicated to the Battle of Gallipoli in the strategic Dardanelles during “The Great War“, a.k.a., “The War to End All Wars“, but which today we know as World War I.

Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War

We spent an extravagant amount of time in this fascinating exhibit, which began 18 April 2015 and is scheduled to run through 25 April 2022. In the exhibit are larger-than-life dioramas depicting the horrors of the Gallipoli Campaign:

Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War

These statues were massive, and the detail in each was superlative and lifelike.

Large scale model of Lt. Col. Percival Fenwick

Just to give you perspective on the scale of these pieces, here are two images from the museum’s website of the people next to the statues:

Image from: Percival Fenwick and the scale of his war | Te Papa’s Blog
Weta Workshop's Sir Richard Taylor with some of the giants
Image from: Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War | Te Papa

Also in the exhibit were examples of some of the weaponry used, which is of great interest to me as I’m an avid collector of firearms (as you know from some of my many firearm reviews). Here is a fine example of a Webley Mk IV service revolver chambered for the .455 Webley cartridge. The revolver is engraved with the name of a Master Gunnery Sergeant (see MGS on the inscription):

Webley .455 caliber service revolver

And here is a Vickers Maxim Mk I water-cooled machine gun chambered in .303 British (7.7×56mmR)

Vickers Maxim Mk I in .303 British (7.7×56mmR)

Gallipoli represents one of the most brutal campaigns of The Great War. The ground campaign lasted well over eight months, from 25 April 1915 when the first amphibious assault was made, to 9 January the following year. All told, the French and British Empire and French took some 302,000 casualties (both wounded and killed), while the Ottoman Empire sustained losses of a quarter million.

Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War

I’ll leave you today with more images of those larger-than-life dioramas:


Filed under Photography, R. Doug Wicker, travel, vacation

2 responses to “Circumnavigating New Zealand — Te Papa Tongarewa Museum; Gallipoli Exhibit

  1. Great post, Doug. Love the images!