Wellington’s Top Destinations For Arts Lovers

As a country, New Zealand is pretty young. However, do you know that it features a diverse wealth of art galleries, museums, literature, and performing arts? The country will leave even the most fervent arts lovers completely satisfied. In many NZ cities, Wellington included, artists and their works are receiving the recognition they deserve on the international stage. In addition, galleries around the country are regularly holding exhibitions that feature the creations of internationally and nationally acclaimed artists. This is possible, thanks to the fact that there are over 400 museums around the country. If you are visiting Wellington, the impressive national museum Te Papa Tongarewa should not be missed. Here is a quick look at some of the top arts destinations in Wellington. To enjoy maximum convenience while travelling to each destination, be sure to consider booking bus hire in Wellington!


Te Papa TongarewaMuseum

This is one of New Zealand’s most innovative and boldest national museum. Te Papa is also a recognised global leader in visitor-focused and interactivemuseum experiences. Visitors will be able to experience the nation’s art, science, and culture in a breathtaking waterfront location. The best thing about coming to Te Papa is that admission is free! Featuring an exciting range of exhibitions, the permanent ones celebrate the diverse stories of the Maori, which is New Zealand’s indigenous people.Te Papa recently earned a spot in Lonely Planet’s “Top 500 Places to See on the Planet” list.

Dowse Art Museum

The Dowse Art Museum is located 15 minutes from downtown Wellington and provides stellar quality, free curriculum-linked programmes. This is one of the country’s most significant contemporary art museums and features a regularly updated array of dynamic exhibitions across 11 gallery spaces. You will be able to browse through and appreciate a range of media including ceramics, fashion, photography, jewellery, sculpture, and paintings. Dowse is LEOTC-funded and that’s why it also focuses on the arts of Nga Toi and social studies of Tikanga a Iwi.


PATAKA pays homage to their Maori heritage by showcasing the finest of contemporaryNew Zealand, Pacific Island, and Maori art. Here is a quick overview of PATAKA:

  • A colonial courtyard
  • A great array of social history and contemporary art exhibitions
  • Pacific Island and Maori education officers (available via booking)
  • A purpose-built education space that can hold up to 30 students

Wellington Writers Walk

The Wellington Writers Walk first opened its doors in 2002, at the NZ International Festival of the Arts. It is composed of a fun and educational walk that commences at Chaffers Marina and leads visitors along the waterfront to Circa Theatre and Te Papa, across the city to Sea bridge to Civic Square and then finishing at Frankakatt’s Park. Along the way, you will come across various text sculptures with quotes written by well-known New Zealand writers such as Maurice Gee, James K Baxter, Katherine Mansfield, and more.

Wellington City Gallery

Situated in Civic Square, Wellington, WellingtonCity Gallery offers world-class exhibitions ofinternational and contemporary New Zealand art. Aside from the captivatingart from some of the world’s most exciting artists, you can find specific galleries dedicated to Wellington artists, particularly Maori and Pacific arts. As you can see, WellingtonCity Gallery continually strives to enables diverse audiences to experience art in inspiring and innovative ways. City Gallery Wellington is temporarily closed for refurbishments until 3rd March 2018.

National Library Gallery

Located opposite of New Zealand’s Parliament Buildings, the National Library Gallery is one of the country’s leading culturalcentres. Also known as TePunaMatauranga o Aotearoa, the library offers more than your usual library material. They also feature public exhibitions of heritage collections. National Library Gallery’s recent contemporary art collection featured murals and other interesting works of art.

Wellington Museum

Located at Jervois Quay, Wellington Museum is an award winning social history museum where visitors are welcomed to explore a wide variety of events, the environment, as well as the people that define our capital city. Renowned for its innovative approach, Wellington Museum’s meticulously researched and interactive exhibitions encourage you to explore, learn, touch, research, and question.

At Wellington’s, its myriad exhibitions will take you back a thousand years and step by step, lead you to the vibrant present-day city. If you are planning to visit this museum, it is recommended that you book beforehand. You can arrange your visit by contacting the Museum’s Education Service.

Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision

Located at Taranaki Street, the Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision collections are a reflection of the breadth of New Zealand’s sound and moving image history – from the earliest days of television, recording, audio, and cinema, to contemporary radio, computer games, music videos, advertisements, and film production. The organisation opened a new exhibition gallery in May 2004, along with a unique complex of public spaces, including a street cinema, a multi-media library, and more.

Embassy Theatre

Located along 10 Kent Terrace, the Embassy Theatre is New Zealand’s grandest picture palace. The historic theatre was originally built in 1926 and has an impressive record of hosting many of Wellington’s finest film and arts festivals. This includes the Australasian premieres of Peter Jackson’s King Kong, the world premiere of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and more. Even after the Embassy’s refurbishment, it still retained a majority of its fine features such as the exquisite plastered ceilings, original tiled foyers, wrought iron handrails, and marbled staircases. If you need a break while checking out the theatre, the lounge-bar is a good choice for a warm cup of coffee, New Zealand wine or cocktail. Movies play every day through the year, from art-house wonder, the latest 3D blockbusters, etc. As you can see, there are so many things you can do here!

If you are visiting Wellington with a group of travel companions, you can make your ride more comfortable by choosing Wellington bus hire. Comfort is not the only benefit as it simply spells value for money for you!

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