Bug Lab

A person looking at a giant wasps nest while the wasps fly around in a fantastical way.

See the world from a bug's-eye view!

Experience the world you thought you knew from an entirely new perspective with Bug Lab! See the world bugs built through a new set of eyes—or several new sets at once—and learn about the adaptive genius of these small but mighty creatures. Prepare for an enchanting, otherworldly and enlightening expedition as you step into life on a new scale.

Admire giant, ultra-realistic models of seven bug species, and find out why each one is master of its domain. Explore the skills and intelligence of each bug as you travel through a distinct chamber built to emulate its natural habitat on a massive scale. In each chamber, you'll learn about the unique features and abilities of a certain species, from the aeronautical abilities of the dragonfly to the surgical skills of the jewel wasp—yes, you read that right!—and beyond.

Each space also includes an interactive experience to help you learn more about the brilliance of bugs. You'll even get a chance to test your abilities against theirs! Plus, learn how humans are applying bug genius to solve complex problems.

Bug Lab is a travelling exhibition created by New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa. It was built in collaboration with Weta Workshop, the award-winning concept design and special effects studio behind The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies, among other impressive productions.

Book Your Visit

Bring on the Bugs at Home or School

Got bugs on the brain? Scratch your itch for more insect info with these activities and resources!

More Bug Science

Uncover the astonishing abilities of your favourite arthropods and meet some new friends along the way. Check out our Brilliant Bugs demo during your next visit to the Science Centre!


Sensory: The chamber that features dragonflies uses strobe lighting effects.

  • Everything
  • Natural Environment
A child is amazed by a giant model of bees. Children learn from an exhibit in Bug Lab about dragonflies. A large model of a praying mantis. A child and adult learn about flight with paper.
Developed and presented by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, working with Weta Workshop
Te Papa: Our Place Weta Workshop Absolutely Positively Wellington