Map &
Directions

Hours
mode_edit
Been here?
Rate it
chevron_left
 
chevron_right

Top Tours

 
The Great War Exhibition Guided Tour
"Located in the historic Wellington Dominion Museum Building within the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park the Exhibition takes a wide look at the Great War - at all forces and all countries involved. The stunning artefacts including a life size tank a range of replica and genuine guns and over 5000 hand painted miniature figures depict the trials and horrors of war. The lives and experiences of New Zealanders who served and lived during that time highlight the bravery and enduring spirit which helped shape who the people of New Zealand are today. The Great War Exhibition melting away 100 years helping us to understand the hardships endured by those who served and those who stayed behind.This exhibition is truly world-class
From NZD25.00
 
Wellington City Scenic Private Tour
"Enjoy a pickup from your accommodation for up to 9 people. From here you can decide where you want to go or you can take the standard tour.The standard route begins with a drive through the entertainment district of Courtenay Place to the Mt Victoria lookout. You will then travel round the south coast of Miramar Peninsula and have the option of a 1 home of the New Zealand film industry. You will then travel back into town around the Harbour Bays before climbing to take in the views from Te Ahumairangi. Travel down through the historic suburb of Thorndon with a stop at historic Old St Pauls. the national museum and art gallery (only a part of it will be visited in the time available) Weta Workshop tour for 50 minutes (not included advise prior to departure) The National War Memorial Park and Great War Exhibition
From NZD875.00
 
Wellington Self-Guided Audio Tour
"In this comprehensive tour of Wellington you will also see the Summit of Mount Victoria the Plimmer Steps the Old Bank Arcade the Museum of Wellington City and Sea the Wellington Railway St Paul's Cathedral. As well as this you will see the Parliament Building which is known worldwide as ""The Beehive"" because of its unusual shape. Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and this tour will not disappoint. Take the frustration out of no what to do or what to see by doing this wonderful walking tour which gives you a snapshot of the best things to see and do in this eclectic city which is awash with colorful characters of all ethnicities."
From $20.00

Parliament Buildings & Beehive Tips (25)

New Zealand Parliament

Take a guided tour and learn about how New Zealand's government works. You'll see how laws are passed. Bills are introduced into the democratically elected House of Representatives, who then vote on them. When a Bill is passed, it then becomes an Act. New Zealand remains a constitutional monarchy, officially under the Queen, represented by the Governor General. But she usually consents to the decisions made by elected officials.

One of the building's unusual features is a complex system of earthquake-resistant buffers which support the structure. Like Japan, the country sits on top of some major fault lines, and has re-engineered many buildings to survive all but the worst quakes.

The Corruption Perceptions Index for 2011 has rated New Zealand's government as the cleanest in the world. It's very open and transparent, as any visitor will notice.

Tom_Fields's Profile Photo
Tom_Fields
Apr 04, 2012

Beehive

The Beehive is a Parliament office building located next to Parliament. It is shaped like, you guessed it, a beehive, and is a unique building that has seen plenty of controversy about its design. Construction on the Beehive was completed in 1982.

grkboiler
Apr 04, 2011

European style

The NZ Parliament House could be placed in any European city without looking bizarre. I do love this kind of architecture, but I would have appreciated more a building representing the 2 cultures sharing the Country.

BurgerQueen's Profile Photo
BurgerQueen
Aug 12, 2009

New Zealand's biggest wooden Building

The most fascinating thing about this Italian Renaissance style building is that it looks like made of cream-coloured stone cubes, but in fact it is made of wood!

Kauri is the main timber used in this building, located opposite the now used Parliament House and the Beehive on Lambton Quay, and standing on the old seabed that was raised upwards in the 1855 earthquake. Hundreds of cubic metres of recycled timber, from demolished structures around the country, have been used for the restoration of this building to replace lost features. Other timbers used were rimu and matai. Originally the building had 22 chimneys but they were removed as earthquake risks.

Not part of the current parliamentary complex, this massive mansion-like four-storey building was designed by William Clayton and finished in 1876. At the time it was New Zealand’s largest building. Today it is the second-largest wooden building in the world (after Tôdai-ji in Nara, Japan), and the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. No longer used by New Zealand's Parliament, it houses Victoria University of Wellington's Law School.

It has a visitor centre where you can get a map for a self-guided tour, and you can walk inside the building and admire the kauri walls and ceilings. You also have access to the former cabinet hall.

Open Mon – Fri 9am – 4.30pm, Sat 10am – 3pm.

Admission free.

The building is beautifully illuminated at night.

The statue in front of Old Government House shows Peter Fraser who was leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister from 1940 to 1949.

Photo 2 shows interior kauri walls.

Kakapo2's Profile Photo
Kakapo2
Apr 16, 2008
 
 
Sponsored Listings

Hotels Near Wellington

Hotels
116 Brougham Street, Wellington, North Island, New Zealand
Show Prices
Hotels
49 Sussex St, Wellington, North Island, New Zealand
Show Prices
Hotels
28 Cambridge Terrace, Wellington, North Island, New Zealand
Show Prices
Hotels
70 Tory St, Te Aro, Wellington, 6011, New Zealand
Show Prices
Hotels
49 Majoribanks St, Wellington, North Island, New Zealand
Show Prices
Hotels
58 Tory St., (Formerly Wildlife House), Wellington, North Island, New Zealand
Show Prices

No Visit to the Prime Minister in the Beehive

Some people call it a shocker, some a source of national pride. But one thing is clear: Beside the Cable Car, the Beehive is Wellington’s landmark. It is said that the Scottish architect Basil Spence designed it on the back of a dinner napkin in 1964 while dining with Sir Keith Holyoake, then Prime Minister and later Governor-General. Building started in 1969, and was completed in 1981. On Wikipedia you find the sketch.

Whereas Parliament House can be visited on free tours you do not have access to the Beehive which is really a striking and unique structure.

It has a circular base, like a rotunda, and is shaped like a cone, chopped at the top. It is said that the architect had the idea of a real beehive in mind when he made the sketch.
The building is 72 metres and ten storeys high, plus has four storeys below ground. The roof is constructed from 20 tonnes of hand-welded copper. The interior design was a nightmare, as there are many asymmetrical rooms, and office furniture is not really built with such special features in mind.

The top floor houses the cabinet offices. The Prime Minister’s offices occupy the ninth and part of the eigth floor, and further down are the offices of the cabinet ministers. On the first floor is a banquet hall. In the basement are the country’s main civil defence headquarters (National Crisis Management Centre). A tunnel links the Beehive with Bowen House on the opposite side of Bowen Street. This building houses parliamentary offices.

Kakapo2's Profile Photo
Kakapo2
Apr 16, 2008

Get into the Centre of Power

This area is located at the northern end of Lambton Quay. Even if you only drive through Wellington, arriving by ferry, you drive past those spectacular buildings, and the one you always notice first is the so called Beehive.

Although the buildings are of very different styles somehow they form an interesting agglomeration. On one side – the one closer to the harbour – you find the fantastic Old Government Building, made of Kauri wood, which is now mainly used as the university’s school of law. On the other side of Lambton Quay, and then along Molesworth Street, sit the buildings that are now used by the Government of New Zealand, at an elevated position above the street.

The most unique building is the Beehive which houses the cabinet and the ministerial offices, so the site of the country’s executive power, a chopped cone consisting of seven segments that is made up of ten storeys inside. It is directly linked with Parliament House which was built in neo-classic style. Next in the row is the fairy-tale-like General Assembly Library, built in a mixture of Victorian and Gothic style. Thanks to the pastel colours it looks more like a moorish castle.

An additional parliamentary building is – if you stand in front of and face the Beehive – to your left, across Bowen Street. Its name is Bowen House, a simple office building, and it is linked to the Beehive by a tunnel under Bowen Street.

Some steps further up the hill and right into Aitken Street you find the Archives of New Zealand. The biggest treasure is conserved in the Constitution Room. There you find the original Treaty of Waitangi in the Maori language Te Reo. It was saved from rotting in the damp cellar of the Old Government Building in 1908. Open Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm, Sat 9am – 1pm, admission free.

Kakapo2's Profile Photo
Kakapo2
Apr 16, 2008

Cabbage Trees light up Parliament House

This greyish building spreads rather a cold atmosphere but the row of big cabbage trees along the driveway give it a nice NZ style feeling. Watch the TV news and you see all the parliamentary reporters standing in front of those trees - if they are not chasing a minister inside the building ;-)

Parliament moved from Auckland to Wellington in 1865. On 11 December 1907 a fire destroyed all – then wooden - parliamentary buildings but the library. The ballroom and conservatory of (Old) Government House, across the road, were an interim solution until a new Parliament House was built. Parliament moved into half unfinished premises in 1918 – and the other half of the neo-classic structure was never built, due to labour and material shortages during World War I. Government architect John Campbell was the designer.

In 1991 Parliament House (and the library next door) were renovated and strengthened to make it earthquake-safe. It is said to have been New Zealand’s largest renovation project in history.

Free guided tours

Parliament House has a visitor centre which is open daily (Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm, Sat and public holidays 9.30am – 4pm, Sun 11.30am – 4pm; closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, 1 and 2 Jan, Waitangi Day/6 Feb and Good Friday).

Free guided tours start on the hour and take one hour. You must leave your bags and cameras in a storage area, so you cannot take photos of MP’s who poke their noses.

Kakapo2's Profile Photo
Kakapo2
Apr 15, 2008

Man in Trees

I have really got a liking for this guy standing under a huge tree in front of the Old Government Building. I visited him several times a day, hoping to get the perfect light and the perfect photo. However, I must say: No photo is perfect. The tree influenced my efforts in not the best way, and I did not really like the results of flash photography.

This guy looks like the average Joe going to work with his briefcase, and the coat over his arm. But he was an extraordinary man, and – as you can deduct from the statue’s location – played an important role in New Zealand politics. We are talking about Peter Fraser, prime minister from 1940 to 1949. Born in Scotland, he died in Wellington in 1950, only 66 years old, one year after he had lost the election and his post.

Quite some politicians of the first century after the start of European immigration have inconvenient histories. This one is no exception. Peter Fraser came to NZ in 1911 because he could not find a job back home. He soon got into the unions and politics, played a leading part in founding the Labour Party in 1916, strongly opposed World War I, and was arrested several times for his views. He even spent one year in jail for sedition for advocating repeal of conscription.

Before becoming leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister in 1940, he was minister for health and education (from 1935).

Photo 2 shows the whole statue.

Kakapo2's Profile Photo
Kakapo2
Apr 15, 2008

Top 5 Wellington Writers

Kakapo2's Profile Photo

Kakapo2

"A Capital on Shaky Hills and wind-swept Seas"
View Member
fishandchips's Profile Photo

fishandchips

"Wellington - Capital of New Zealand"
View Member
craic's Profile Photo

craic

"Raffish and Energetic - Quirky and Agreeable"
View Member
kiwi's Profile Photo

kiwi

"WELLINGTON - The Capital of our country."
View Member
djramey's Profile Photo

djramey

"wellington, nz"
View Member
 
 

Statue in front of the Parliamentary Library

This statue in front of the Parliamentary Library features John Ballance, New Zealand’s Prime Minister from 1891 to 1893.

He was born on 27 March 1839, came to New Zealand in 1865, and died on 27 April 1893 at the age of 54.

Kakapo2's Profile Photo
Kakapo2
Apr 15, 2008

The General Assembly Library

… is a spectacular fairy-tale-like building to the right of the Parliament building, and I just love the Moorish style of it. Looks a bit like made of sugar and icing but not kitschy at all, although the colours are cream and pinkish terracotta.

This library for the use of the members of Parliament was designed by Thomas Turnbull and completed in modified form in 1899. It is the only parliamentary building that survived the big fire of 1907.

On photo 2 you see a detail of this outstanding building.

Kakapo2's Profile Photo
Kakapo2
Apr 15, 2008

The Statue of a bad Pupil in front of Parliament

This statue in front of Parliament House features Richard John Seddon who was New Zealand’s Prime Minister from 1893 until 1906. He came into power after the death of John Ballance whose statue stands in front of the General Assembly Library.

Seddon was born in St. Helens in Lancashire (England) in on 22 June 1845 and came to NZ in 1866. He was member of Parliament since 1879 for several West Coast districts, as for Hokitika, Kumara and Westland.

He died on board the ship Oswestry Grange on 10 June 1906 when returning from a strenuous trip to Sydney where he had exhausting negotiations for 24 days. Doctors had warned him not to undertake such a journey regarding his failing health but he ignored the warnings and died from heart failure on the way back.

This man really had an extraordinary life. He was an unpromising pupil, so his parents took him off school at the age of twelve. He did not succeed as a worker either, being dismissed because he asked for higher pay. When he heard about the possibility of poor people becoming rich in Australia he boarded a ship to this country in 1863. He followed the stories about the gold rush in New Zealand and set out for Hokitika in 1866. He worked in the goldfields and as a publican, and when the gold rush population started dwindling he had to file bankruptcy. Parallel to his work, his heart was always in politics, and succeeding in becoming the first mayor of Kumara in 1877 was the start of an unstoppable career.

Kakapo2's Profile Photo
Kakapo2
Apr 15, 2008

Kiwi Centre of Power

Parliament is where NZ's government meets to makes all sorts of decisions - some good and some very stupid (depending on your point of view!~!) Governments are selected here through the old english Westminster system with a total of 120 seats (though this can be 121 due to our system!) up for grabs. We have a mixed member proportional system where you vote for your favourite local dude plus vote for your favourite political party. It is supposed to ensure that all of the political parties get their fare share of power.

Parliament is located not far from Lambton Quay and is beside the very recognisable Beehive where the parliamentarians and their staff have their offices located. There is not a huge amount to see though you can sit in the public viewing seats and watch the action when parliament is sitting.

fishandchips's Profile Photo
fishandchips
May 28, 2007

Things to Do Near Wellington

Things to Do

The National War Memorial

There might be some irritation when you mention Wellington’s War Memorial(s), as there is not just one. So if you choose the “War Memorial” as a meeting point clarify which one you mean. There is...
View More
Things to Do

Mt Victoria

Wanna go for a walk? How about hiking? Don’t worry you don’t need a hiking shoes or a guide. Just take a bus to Mt. Victoria and then walk yourself back to the city. No trolls in the forest, promise!...
View More
Things to Do

Wellington Cable Car

Ride the Cable car from Lambton Quay, downtown Wellington, up the hill. There you will find lovely views back over the city and harbour. Also the Botanical Gardens, Carter Observatory and the Cable...
View More
Things to Do

Wellington Zoo

Wellington zoo increasingly focuses on 'preserving and breeding endangered animals', which is why they house a very special resident, the famous kiwi. The birds live in a dark walk-through area and if...
View More
Things to Do

Wellington Botanic Garden

Wellington Botanic Gardens is lcoated in 25ha of unique landscape. It has protected native forest, conifers, specialised plant collections, colourful floral displays, set with great views over...
View More
Things to Do

ZEALANDIA: The Karori Sanctuary Experience

The Karori Wildlife Centre is a very impressive and pleasant “oasis” of nature so very close to the centre of the city. What seems like an entire valley of gorgeous bushclad hillsides, is fenced with...
View More

Getting to Wellington

Address

We don't yet have an address for this Things to Do. Help us improve our info!

Hours

We don't yet have hours for this Things to Do. Help us improve our info!

Map