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Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Te Papa Tongarewa is the national museum of New Zealand. The Māori name literally translates as 'container of treasures', and this is certainly an apt name for a museum which is vibrant, imaginative and playful, yet scholarly, interactive and educational.

Te Papa's humble origins started with the Colonial Museum, which opened in a small wooden building in 1865. Its modern position dominates Wellington's harbor front and is a key highlight for any visitor to the city, regardless of age. Entry is free, so even if you only have an hour or two to spare, you can explore areas of New Zealand's history, culture and natural environment via the interactive exhibits. For those who have more time, it’s not unusual to spend a whole afternoon or even a full day here learning about the Māori and settler history and New Zealand's political, environmental and economic position in history, right up to the present day.

Te Papa is a forum for the nation to present, explore and preserve the heritage of its cultures and knowledge of the natural environment in order to better understand and treasure the past, enrich the present and meet the challenges of the future.

With an ever-changing program of events and exhibits, no two visits to Te Papa are the same.

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who's been there
Audley specialist Haley

Start planning your tailor-made trip by contacting one of our New Zealand specialists

Other experiences in Wellington

These activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences around where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can suggest tours and activities that will introduce you to the local ways of life.

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Experience it for yourself

You can enjoy this activity as part of the suggested tours below, or we can weave it into a trip shaped entirely around you.