Wellington, NZ is the country’s capital and it’s home to some superb museums such as the is the national museum and art gallery of New Zealand and it’s located on the waterfront in Wellington, on Cable Street. The Te Papa Tongarewa definitely has the “wow” factor and if you only have time to see just one museum while you’re in Wellington, this is the one to visit. “Te Papa Tongarewa” means “the place of treasures of this land” and inside the building there are six floors of exhibitions, gift shops and cafÃ©s dedicated to New Zealand’s culture and environment. T
Imagine a 14-foot, 1000-pound squid swimming in the ocean and you’ll appreciate the world’s largest specimen of a rare colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) that was captured by New Zealand fishermen near Antarctica.
The History Collection features textiles and dresses, some of which date back to the 1500s, the New Zealand Post Archive with nearly 20,000 stamps and related objects,and the Pacific Collection with nearly 13,000 historic and contemporary artifacts from the Pacific Islands. The fossil collections include nearly 250,000 dried herb specimens in the herbarium, nearly 70,000 New Zealand bird specimens, dinosaur skeletons, and mammal, reptile and amphibian specimens.
The cultural collections include a superb overview of Maori history and culture (including a Maori war boat and house of prayer).
The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays. Admission is FREE and guided tours run $14 to $20.
If you’re a literary buff, you’ll want to check out the childhood home of Katherine Mansfield, New Zealand’s most famous author, who wrote Bliss, In a German Pension, The Garden Party and Other Stories and The Man Without a Temperament. The features Mansfield’s birthplace, albeit restored, and you’ll get to see items that her family actually used and faithful reproductions of period pieces. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (except Christmas Day and Good Friday) and admission is $8 for adults. Children under 18 are FREE.
The family-friendly at Queens Wharf
(3 Jervois Quay) has been voted one of the word’s top 50 museums and it’s dedicated to the city’s social, cultural and maritime history. The Museum of Wellington City is housed in the old Bond Store, an 1892 heritage building designed by leading architect Frederick de Jersey Clere. Exhibition highlights include the story of the 1968 Wahine ferry disaster, 101 stories of 20th century Wellington life, and the Maori myths and legends show. The museum is open daily (except Christmas Day) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is FREE.
The award-winning is located in the original Winding House on 1a Upland Road in the Kelburn section of Wellington. The Museum has two of the original grip cars and the historic winding machinery once used to haul the cars through a series of tunnels up the steep incline. The Cable Car Museum is open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except Christmas Day) and admission is FREE.