Te Papa

Te Papa information

Wellington , New Zealand
55 Cable St
+64 4 381 7000
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Te Papa is Wellington's 'must-see' attraction, for reasons well beyond the fact that it's New Zealand's national museum. It's highly interactive, fun, and full of surprises: aptly, ‘Te Papa Tongarewa’ loosely translates as ‘treasure box’. The riches inside include an amazing collection of Māori artefacts and the museum’s own colourful marae (meeting house); natural history and environment exhibitions; Pacific and NZ history galleries; the National Art Collection; and themed hands-on ‘discovery centres’ for children. Big-name temporary exhibitions incur an admission fee, although general admission is free.

You could spend a day exploring Te Papa’s six floors and still not see it all. To cut to the chase, head to the information desk on level two and collect a map. For exhibition highlights and to get your bearings, the one-hour ‘Introducing Te Papa’ tour (adult/child $15/7) is a good idea; tours leave from the info desk at 10.15am, noon and 2pm daily. 'Māori Highlights' tours ($20/10) run at 2pm daily. Two cafes and two gift shops complete the Te Papa experience, which could well consume a couple of rainy-day visits. The museum's current star attraction is the state-of-the-art exhibition 'Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War', charting the country's involvement in WWI's Gallipoli campaign through the experiences of eight ordinary New Zealanders; key to the exhibition's impact are the hyper-real models produced by Weta Workshop, which bring it all to life. The museum will host the exhibition until 2018.