Te Papa Tongarewa // Wellington, New Zealand

Te Papa Tongarewa, the Museum of New Zealand, is one of the most popular cultural attractions in the country. Located in the capital city of Wellington, the museum (referred to simply as “Te Papa”) features exhibits on a range of subjects, such as the history of the country, the Maori culture, the geology of New Zealand, and just about everything else.

Te Papa is one of the main recommendations any tourist will get when visiting Wellington and I will reiterate that 100 times over. You can easily spend a full day–or multiple days–exploring the museum. Every exhibit is packed full of information, objects, art, pictures, and beautiful displays. With 6 levels to explore at Te Papa, it’s almost too much to process in just one visit!

I spent my first afternoon in Wellington at Te Papa, and after nearly 4 hours, I still only made my way up to level 3. I returned the next afternoon to see the rest of the exhibits, and I spent another 3 hours there. With so many different topics to learn about, you’ll never be bored.

Te Papa Museum

Place of Interest: Te Papa Tongarewa // Wellington, NZ

One of my favorite exhibits at Te Papa was “Awesome Forces”, which explores the geological forces that created New Zealand. I also enjoyed exploring the entire fourth level, which viewed the country from a more cultural perspective. There were exhibits focusing on daily life in New Zealand over the past century, as well as important cultural events. Honestly though, there wasn’t a single exhibit I didn’t enjoy.

Place of Interest: Te Papa Tongarewa // Wellington, NZ

Level 5 is an art gallery, featuring the national art collection. This section of the museum feels like its own place entirely. While most of the museum is quite open, the gallery feels quiet and far-removed. It’s a wonderful space to view the art on show.

Place of Interest: Te Papa Tongarewa // Wellington, NZ

Te Papa is the perfect place to bring kids and groups, but it’s also a lot of fun to explore on your own. It’s easy to while away the hours here. As if the incredible amount of (and quality of) exhibits isn’t enough to convince you, the Te Papa is a FREE museum. This is a place I’d gladly pay $20+ to see, but they won’t charge you. That being said, making a donation to the museum on your way in or out is appreciated and well worth it.

Place of Interest: Te Papa Tongarewa // Wellington, NZ


Tips for Visiting Te Papa:

  • If you find yourself needing a break during your visit, head to the cafe on level 4 for a flat white and a snack.
  • If you’re short on time, check out the map beforehand & decide which exhibits you’d most like to see.
  • Head to the very top of the museum and check out the viewing deck to see the Wellington waterfront.

Place of Interest: Te Papa Tongarewa // Wellington, NZ


More Information:

Location: 55 Cable St., right along the waterfront

Hours: Open every day from 10 am to 6 pm

Admission: Free entry

Website


Place of Interest: Te Papa Tongarewa // Wellington, NZ

Place of Interest: Te Papa Tongarewa // Wellington, NZ

Place of Interest: Te Papa Tongarewa // Wellington, NZ


Read Next:

Guide to Wellington, New Zealand

Place of Interest // Wellington Museum

Wellington Cable Car & Other Attractions to Visit

19 Free Things to do in Wellington


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Te Papa is New Zealand's national musuem, exploring the history and culture of the country.

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By Courtney Minor

Wandering around and writing about it.

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