The natural world captured in one spectacular exhibition

Local News Lifestyle

Some of the world’s most stunning wildlife photographs are about to be showcased at NPDC’s Puke Ariki Museum.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the most prestigious photography event of its kind, capturing the natural world’s most astonishing and challenging sights for more than half a century.

Produced and toured by London’s Natural History Museum the exhibition, which opens on 14 August, features 99 images that capture fascinating animal behaviour, spectacular species and the breath-taking diversity of our planet.

Launched in 1965 and attracting 361 entries, the competition now receives more than 49,000 entries by amateur and professional photographers from all over the globe.

Russian photographer Sergey Gorshkov’s exceptional image, The Embrace, won him the 56th Wildlife Photographer of the Year award.  His photo depicts an adult Siberian tiger marking her territory on a tree. It took Gorshkov more than 11 months to capture the image using hidden cameras in Russia's Far East, the only place on Earth where Amur, or Siberian, tigers are found.

Aside from being a visually impressive image, Sergey has managed to photograph an extremely rare animal exhibiting its natural behaviour in a truly wild landscape.

 “We’re delighted to be hosting Wildlife Photographer of the Year at Puke Ariki,” says Ella Santos, NPDC Visitor Experience Lead Puke Ariki.

“At a time when travel is restricted, this exhibition takes viewers on a visual journey around the world. The images will undoubtedly evoke a wide range of emotions, but seeing these fleeting moments and the stories behind them will fascinate everyone who visits. We’re expecting it will be a popular exhibition with both locals and visitors to Taranaki.”

Dr Tim Littlewood, Executive Director of Science at the Natural History Museum says the competition has an outstanding reputation in attracting the world's very best photographers, naturalists and young photographers.

“But there has never been a more vital time for audiences all over the world to re-engage with the natural world, and what better way than this inspiring and provocative exhibition. Photography's unique ability to spark conversation and curiosity is certainly special. We hope that this year's exhibition will provide an opportunity for audiences to pause, reflect and ignite a passion of advocating for the natural world.”

Wildlife Photographer of the Year will be on show at Puke Ariki Museum 14 August –14 November 2021. Entry is free daily between 10am - 5pm.


Puke Ariki Fast Facts:

  • It first opened on 15 June 2003 and is the world’s first purpose-built, fully integrated museum, library and visitor information centre.
  • Puke Ariki Museum is free entry and open daily 10am – 5pm (closed only for Christmas Day).
  • Puke Ariki has three long-term galleries (Te Takapou Whāriki, Taranaki Naturally and Taranaki Life) and components of these get changed out regularly.
  • Te Pua Wānanga O Taranaki/Taranaki Research Centre is also housed at the site. 
  • The total number of visitors to Puke Ariki and district libraries in the 2019/20 year was 842,480.