Cool stuff

Get a taste of the exhibition by watching some highlights from the videos and interactives. Find out more about whales as well as the scientists, artists and organisations in our website links and references sections.



Here are all the videos and extracts that are available throughout the website:

Search and Destroy experience. Dive with a sperm whale and join the hunt for the giant squid.

> Check out the exhibition on What Now's Youtube page


A National Whale Centre for Picton and the World!

This is the Encyclopaedia of New Zealand and provides a fantastic insight into the world of whales through the theme of Earth, Sea and Sky.

WWF promotes conservation in New Zealand and shows how you can get involved. The site provides an excellent educational, science based opportunity to further your studies in whales and in particular the Maui dolphin.

The Orca Research Trust was founded by Dr Ingrid Visser in 1992 and was the first research project dedicated to orca in the South Pacific.

The official website for The Center for Cetacean Research & Conservation, a non-profit organization founded to conserve cetaceans and the ecosystems they inhabit. Nan Hauser is President and Director of the Center and lives in the Cook Islands where she conducts her whale research. She is one of the scientists contributing to the Greenpeace Great Whale Trail project, 2007.

Whale Watch® Kaikoura Ltd is New Zealand’s multiple award winning marine-based whale watching company that operates all year round. We offer visitors an exciting up-close encounter with Kaikoura’s Giant Sperm Whales as well as other whale and dolphin species, seals and albatross. Our 95% success rate means we guarantee an 80% refund if your tour does not see a whale. Whale Watch® is located in the town of Kaikoura, a scenic 2.5 hours drive north of Christchurch in New Zealand's South Island.
For further information and to book a Whale Watch® experience please visit or FREEPHONE: 0800 655 121 or 0800 WHALES.

This is the Department of Conservation site to New Zealand and highlights the need to protect both natural and historic heritage. This site provides fantastic facts, and thorough information about how you can get involved and access to local resources in New Zealand.

This site for the NZ Geographic magazine provides fantastic articles about the history of whaling and the diversity of whales in New Zealand.

By typing whales into the search engine you will be provided with a myriad of information about all aspects of whales. This site provides excellent education opportunities for people to learn about whales.

This Public Broadcasting Station website provides people with comprehensive educational programmes and information about whales. Simply place whales into the search engine and be amazed by the resource provided.

This site provides the viewer with a fascinating insight into the movement of whales through the ocean via the use of tagging and satellite tracking.

Olduvai George is a blog title and online identity for natural history illustrator Carl Buell who has contributed many of the amazing illustrations of early whales in the exhibition.

Rangi Kipa is a New Zealand artist who works with whale bone or teeth. He has works in major collections in New Zealand and overseas. One of his works is on display in the exhibition.

The New Zealand Whale and Dolphin Trust was launched in 1992 by researchers Associate Professors Liz Slooten and Steve Dawson, along with Trust Patron Sir Geoffrey Palmer to foster research and conservation of whales and dolphins in New Zealand.



Te Aka Matua Library & Information Centre

Te Aka Matua Library & Information Centre at Te Papa on Level 4, offers a welcoming and comfortable area for visitors to browse a selection of books and magazines linked to Te Papa’s exhibitions and collections. You can also view here a selection of Te Papa’s photographs.

Te Aka Matua is a major research and reference resource, with particular strengths in New Zealand, Māori, natural history, art, and photography.

Some of the references about whales available to browse are listed below, and the fabulous staff at Te Aka Matua have put together a special file to help educators further in your research especially with Purakau or customary stories about whales.

Whale watch : a guide to New Zealand's whales and dolphins

Geoffrey J. Cox. - Auckland, N.Z.: Collins, 1990.

Whales and dolphins of New Zealand and Australia : an identification guide Alan N.

Baker. - New ed. - Wellington, N.Z. : Victoria University Press, 1990.

Harpoons and other whalecraft

Thomas G. Lytle.
New Bedford, Mass. : Old Dartmouth Historical Society, Whaling Museum, 1984.

Into the South Seas : the southern whale fishery comes of age on the Brazil Banks

1765-1812 : a review of whaling activities of American, British, French, Spanish and Portuguese whalemen off Brazil and Patagonia before 1812 / Rhys Richards.
Paremata, N.Z. : Paremata Press, [1994].

Whaling at Taijiura - Tokyo : Heibonsha, 1969.

Beautiful Japanese scrolls showing the customs and practices of whaling in Japan for over 400 years.

Whaling off Tahiti

Ernest S. Dodge.
Paris : Societe des Oceanistes, 1971. Societe des oceanistes, Paris, Dossier ; 11

At the Water's Edge - Fish with Fingers, Whales with Legs

Carl Zimmer
Touchstone, New York, 1998
An accessible account of how life came ashore and then went back to sea, including the evolution of whales

Legends of the land - living stories of Aotearoa as told by ten tribal elders

Photographs by Ralph Talmont
Reed Books, Auckland, 2000
Includes the story of Te Ara a Kewa (the Path of the Whale) and the making of Foveaux Strait, as told by Harold Ashwell.

Paikea, retold from the traditional story and illustrated by Robyn Kahukiwa

Auckland NZ, Puffin 1993

Whales and Dolphins in Questions: the Smithsonian Answer Book

James Mead
Smithsonian Institution Press, 2002
James Mead, the Smithsonian's curator of marine mammals, answers common and unusual questions about whales and dolphins. Excellent colour photography by Flip Nicklin.

Top: Sperm whale, courtesy of Brandon Cole. Right: Orca fluke, photograph courtesy of Dr Ingrid Visser, Orca Research Trust