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Seven reasons to visit Gallipoli: The scale of our war

Take an immersive and emotional journey back to the battlefields of Gallipoli and discover the enormous impact this campaign had on the brave Anzacs that fought there.

1. See movie-making and museum storytelling combine


The film-making technology and expert craftsmanship of Sir Richard Taylor and Weta Workshop, combined with the research and storytelling skill of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, creates a powerful exhibition.

Gallipoli: The scale of our war brings to life the story of Gallipoli for a new generation, and serves as a moving tribute to all those affected by this campaign.

2. Get up close to giants

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Journey back to Gallipoli through the stories of eight Anzacs who experienced the ill-fated campaign. The giants, which include seven soldiers and a nurse, are frozen in time at 2.4 time’s human scale, and each weighs between 90 and 150kgs. 

Their towering presence along with recordings of their diaries, letters and personal photos, highlight the enormous impact that the war had on these every day people. Australian-born Private Colin Airlie Warden is one of the Anzacs featured. 

3. Appreciate the craftsmanship

Close up Weta Workshops Jacqueline Makkee applies the finishing touches to the larger than life life of Spencer Westmacott. Photo by Norm Heke Te Papa

Weta artists and Te Papa staff spent over 24,000 labour hours building and installing the eight large-scale models in the exhibition. 

To create the giants, actors who best represented photographs of the eight characters in the exhibit, were cast. The actors were then photographed in replica uniforms, with real weaponry and equipment, digitally scanned, and face and body casts were made. From these components, 3D replicas of each figure was produced and then sculpted, in painstaking detail, by Weta artists. 

4. Marvel at the detail

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From the beads of sweat on a soldier’s brow, to the flies that circle the trenches, every element of the exhibition has been crafted with remarkable accuracy and detail.

The installation of the models’ hair alone proved to be a mammoth task. Each head of hair took between three and six weeks to install, depending on the nature of the hairstyle. To give the models’ hair the depth and reflection of natural hair, and to make it as realistic as possible, all of the hair used (including the stubbleis a blend of three or four colours. Nearly every hair you see on the models has been punched in by hand.

5. Experience state-of-the-art technology


Along with the large-scale models, the exhibition tells the story of the Gallipoli campaign through a series of innovative and interactive displays.

Projections, 3-D maps, immersive sound design and interactive exhibits, including a life size dug out, bring to life the horrors of the trenches, and create an educational and deeply affecting experience. 

6. It is accessible to all

A visitor tries her hand at sending a morse code message in the exhibition. Photo credit Norm Heke Te Papa

Located in Wellington, just a three hour flight from the east coast of Australia, Gallipoli: The scale of our war is free-of-charge and is open every day (except Christmas Day). Plan your visit to this incredible exhibition and pay tribute to New Zealand and Australia's shared war-time history. 

7. Explore two incredible tributes

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Sir Peter Jackson has also leant his hand to Wellington's World War I tributes. The Great War Exhibition, developed by Jackson and WingNut Films, takes visitors on an immersive journey through the events of the First World War. The centrepiece of this must-see exhibition is a huge diorama, with 5000 hand-painted toy soldiers depicting the Gallipoli battlefield.

Located in the Dominion Museum, just 20 minutes' walk from Te Papa, both exhibitions can easily be visited in a day.

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