Art, culture and heritage in Wellington

Whether you like your art in galleries, on the street, up on stage, or somewhere in between, Wellington is the place for a culture fix. From movie-making magic to award-winning museums, world-class performing arts and thought-provoking street art, you’ll find plenty to inspire your creative spirit.

Follow the Writers' Walk

Take a stroll around the waterfront checking out the stone sculptures of the Wellington Writer's Walk, where snippets of poems are cast in stone. Alternatively, join a local volunteer on a guided walking tour to hear the stories and history of the city. Walk Wellington tours depart from the Wellington i-SITE at 10.00am daily.

Explore the Government Precinct

A visit to the capital city would not be complete without a tour of New Zealand's Parliament Buildings. While you are in the area, visit the He Tohu exhibition at the National Library of New Zealand. View New Zealand’s three iconic constitutional documents including the original Treaty of Waitangi and 1893 Women's Suffrage Petition.

Visit Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand

Discover the treasures and stories of New Zealand at Te Papa, the bold and innovative national museum. A recognised world-leader in interactive and visitor focused museum experiences, Te Papa lets you experience the nation's art, culture and science all in one breathtaking waterfront location.

Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand's website

Check out the Wellington Museum

Wellington Museum preserves Wellington’s social history and maritime heritage. Housed in a significant heritage building on the waterfront, the museum offers a wonderful insight into the rich social and cultural history of Wellington, complementing Te Papa's stories of the nation.

Wellington Museum's website

Visit one of Wellington's many art galleries

Wellington is home to a thriving arts scene and has some 55 galleries dotted around the city. The City Gallery and Toi Art at Te Papa hold the biggest displays in the city but there are many other small galleries all over the city where you can purchase art or just admire it.

Find art galleries in Wellington

Experience movie magic at Wētā Workshop

Wētā Workshop is your gateway to immersive filmmaking experiences. You can discover how it’s all done on behind-the-scenes and hands-on tours of award-winning Wētā Workshop while movie magic can also be found on the city streets thanks to installations created by the Weta team.

Find out more

Learn about Maori culture at Te Wharewaka o Poneke

Experience and share in the rich culture and history of Te Whanganui a Tara (Wellington harbour) and the waterfront through a waka (Māori canoe) or walking tour at Te Wharewaka o Poneke. You can also enjoy a traditional hangi lunch at their Karaka Cafe.

Te Wharewaka o Poneke's website 

Explore more art, culture & heritage in the Hutt Valley

Not far from Wellington city is the Hutt Valley with its own unique story and even more art. Visit The Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt which showcases contemporary arts and design. Continue on and walk the Gallery Mile along Jackson Street in Petone, site of the first organised settlement in New Zealand.

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Attend an event or visit the cinema

Wellington has a selection of world class events to get involved in. Have a browse of their events calendar to see what's on while you're in town. Wellington is home to the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the New Zealand Ballet as well as many other performance groups and cinemas.

Events in Wellington

Continue to Marlborough

When you are ready to move on, take a 35-minute flight across or a three-hour scenic cruise through the Cook Strait to the Marlborough region. Travel with Interislander and experience one of the most spectacular cruises in the world. Cruise through the magnificent Wellington Harbour, view the rugged lower North Island coastline, cross Cook Strait, before finally enjoying the peaceful Marlborough Sounds.

Travel south

Continue to Wairarapa

Alternatively, if you are travelling north along the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail you will be heading to the boutique vineyards of the Wairarapa region. This section of the drive is about 75 minutes where you will drive across the Remutaka Ranges.

Travel north