"New Zealand's biggest wooden Building" Top 5 Page for this destination Parliament Buildings & Beehive Tip by Kakapo2

  Looks like stone but is made of wood.
by Kakapo2
  • Looks like stone but is made of wood. - Wellington
      Looks like stone but is made of wood.
    by Kakapo2
  • In the entrance hall. - Wellington
      In the entrance hall.
    by Kakapo2

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 T˘dai-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.

Address: Lambton Quay, opposite the Parliamentary Buildings

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 16, 2008
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