Waikato Museum is offering an exclusive one-day only chance to touch and hold insects and other small creatures at its family-friendly Bugs! Our Backyard Heroes exhibition on Saturday November 30.

Two Become a Bug Buddy educational shows at the museum in Hamilton that day will give visitors the chance to hold a gecko, skink (lizard) and an Avondale spider, and touch other creatures from turtles to stick insects.

Waikato Museum director Cherie Meecham says: "This is a great chance for budding biologists of all ages to hold and touch these fascinating creatures, watch them feed, and hear all about them."

Become a Bug Buddy is being presented by Auckland-based bug expert Brian Lawton who has been collecting small creatures as far back as he can remember, and who runs businesses supplying them for the movie and advertising industries and bringing 'creature experiences' to the public.


Each Become a Bug Buddy show is an hour long, and participants are also offered an exclusive hour-long guided tour of the Bugs! Our Backyard Heroes exhibition after the show.

Places for the two events are limited and bookings required (go to www.waikatomuseum.co.nz or Eventbrite).

Admission fees will apply for the shows only. (Entry to the overall exhibition is free.)

A macro-image of a spider from the new exhibition at Waikato Museum. Photo / Puke Ariki
A macro-image of a spider from the new exhibition at Waikato Museum. Photo / Puke Ariki

Bugs! Our Backyard Heroes has been developed and is being toured by Puke Ariki, New Plymouth.

It is a free-entry exhibition exploring the secret world of bugs and the vital role they play in our lives.

It also brings visitors face-to-face with some real live mini-monsters.

Cherie Meecham says: "This exhibition provides visitors a unique opportunity to learn about the different native species of bugs in New Zealand and the precarious position they sometimes hold in the ecosystem."

Plenty of hands-on activities will stimulate youngsters' minds with ideas, including how to become a citizen scientist and how bugs inspire those on the frontline of technology, she says.