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A new science and technology experience opening in April 2024

MOTAT is proudly the science and technology playground of Aotearoa: full of hands-on, minds-on discovery. We want to encourage the next generation to be curious, think smartly and innovate for a more regenerative future.

MOTAT is delighted to announce we are bringing you an exciting new development that will make your visit to MOTAT – your science and technology playground – even better and more inspirational.

During the next 12 months, our main exhibition hall at MOTAT Great North Road (Building 5) will be transformed into an interactive science and technology centre, a must-visit attraction for all New Zealanders.

Family friendly

The new experience will provide spaces for all ages and stages, purposefully designed for our visiting families as well as students, providing hands-on, minds-on discovery for everyone.

The new development will be at the heart of MOTAT’s vision to educate and inspire our children - the innovators of tomorrow.

Designed for New Zealand learners

Closely aligned to the New Zealand Curriculum, the experience will deliver fun, highly engaging and educational exhibitions and experiences that draw on STEAMM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, mathematics and mātauranga Māori).

This new experience will be ready for visitors in April 2024 and we can’t wait to welcome you in!

The journey

Please excuse any disruption while we build the new centre – we promise it will be worth the wait!

From 3 April 2023, ahead of the April school holidays and for approximately 12 months, Building 5 will be unavailable to the public, as we first make improvements to its structure and then create the new galleries within it.

To keep you safe, other areas surrounding the construction site will also be unavailable to visitors for the first six months until October this year.

Everything else at MOTAT Great North Road remains fully operational. Activities that would ordinarily take place in Building 5 will be moved to other spaces around the Museum. Tram rides will continue over the 12-month period, as will Little Flick EV rides (with a slightly altered route.)

All current Aviation Hall, Motions Road experiences remain unchanged throughout the development period. However, it will also become home to MOTAT Education for the duration, with all onsite teaching taking place there.

All holiday programmes, Live Days and other events will continue across both MOTAT sites throughout the year, but with more activity taking place at MOTAT Motions Road than in the past.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our visitors for your patience and understanding during the construction period while we bring you this exciting new experience.


What is the development happening at MOTAT Great North Road?

An exciting new science and technology experience is being created in Building 5 during the next 12 months, with opening scheduled for April 2024.

How will this affect my visit?

From 3 April 2023 to April 2024, Building 5 will be unavailable to the public; and from April 2023 to October 2023 the School House, Print Shop, Fire House, and Regent Street will also be behind safety fencing and therefore not available to visitors.

All other MOTAT exhibitions and activities as well as events Live Days and holiday programming will continue across both sites on Great North Road and Motions Road. The Aviation Hall will become more of a focal point for activity than in the past. We have a full calendar of events, Live Days and holiday programming planned for the next 12 months.

How long will this development take?

We expect to open the new science and technology experience in April 2024 – it is a 12-month project.

What parts of MOTAT will be open?

At MOTAT Great North Road, almost everything is open (including the Pumphouse, Get Smart, Accelerate, Machine Makers, Telecommunications, MOTOTS, Main Street Playground, Little Flick EV rides and The Village) except: Building 5 from April 2023 to April 2024; and the School House, Print Shop, Fire House, and Regent Street from April 2023 to early October 2023.

Are the trams still running?

Yes, Western Springs Tramway will continue to run as normal for the duration of the project.

What about Live Days, holiday experiences and special events, will these still happen?

Yes, we will have a full programme planned across the year with lots to look forward to, including our events, holiday programmes and monthly Live Days. These will run across both MOTAT locations as usual, with a little more emphasis on exhibitions and activities at MOTAT Motions Road.

What is happening with the Education programmes?

While our new science and technology experience is being developed, Education programmes and teaching will take place at MOTAT Aviation Hall, Motions Road with a dedicated Education tram running between our two sites, so students still get to visit MOTAT Great North Road. See here for more information.

Will the development works affect mobility access?

Wheelchairs and other mobility aids can still be taken to all places normally available at MOTAT. Please be aware that our wheelchair access bathrooms are limited at MOTAT Great North Road during the April-Oct 2023 period with just the bathroom facilities at Building 1 and 2 available. We apologise for this and please ask our friendly team if you have questions and for directions. 

Can I use the toilets in Building 5?

The Building 5 toilets will be unavailable until at least October 2023. In the meantime, when you are visiting the Great North Road site, you can use the toilets at Accelerate (Building 2), and the café at Cropper House, please refer to our visitor map.