Come along to this free family-fun day at Otago Museum.

Brought to you with the support of Coastal People Southern Skies and the Otago University Biochemistry Department

Come along to Tūhura as Seaweek – Kaupapa Moana is kicked off with a splash and celebrate our beloved sea sponges! Discover the hidden superpowers of some of Aotearoa’s most overlooked animals.

Dive into a day of exciting, sea-themed activities, including face painting, sponge throwing and a free screening of the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. There'll be something for everyone.

Explore the secrets of sponges, cancer-beating medicines, enormous Antarctic assemblages, and how these simple animals can help us track down moose, whales and maybe even the Loch Ness monster!

Get up close and personal with sea creatures at the Aquavan, learn from world-leading sponge experts, and discover the sponges hiding in local lakes and creeks and on seashores near you.


  • 10am–3pm: Aquavan
  • 11am–2pm: Discover Sponges With Otago Scientists
  • 12pm: Sea Stories on the Seashore: Story Time for Tots
  • 1pm: Sea Sponges, Sea Shanties and Songs for Silly Sailors, led by Roseanna Gamlen-Greene
  • 1:30pm: The Spongebob Squarepants Movie
  • 2pm: Expert Talk

Location: Atrium Level 1 and Beautiful Science Gallery

For more information, see

Related content

This article and video Sea sponges and rongoā, looks at how a natural compound found in sea sponges has the potential to be a powerful anti-cancer drug. It is part of the Project Mātauranga television series that investigates Māori world views and methodologies within the scientific community.

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