"NZ's Treasures in Te Papa Tongarewa" Top 5 Page for this destination Te Papa National Museum Tip by Kakapo2

Te Papa National Museum, Wellington: 30 reviews and 49 photos

  Art and culture in the National Museum.
by Kakapo2

If your NZ visit starts in Wellington this is a great place to get an idea about NZ?s history, culture and nature. If you have been in Auckland Museum, Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, and in Waitangi before you will not discover a real lot of surprising new exhibits and interactive displays. Still, Te Papa is always worth a visit, but depending on your knowledge it can be a shorter visit, or you can spend an entire day there. Also the architecture of the building deserves a closer look.

What is absolutely fabulous are the special exhibitions. Earlier ? during the Lord of the Rings craze ? there was a big show about this film trilogy that captured the world. When we were there I went to ?Whales / Tohora? (still until 11 May 2008). Absolutely fantastic ? I could have spent more than two hours there. What I did not like was that it was not allowed to take photos in this special exhibition. Whereas the general admission is free the Whales exhibition cost a fee of NZ$ 8. A little steep for a museum but really worth the money.

They sell booklets (Te Papa Explorer) for NZ$ 3 which are nice but not really necessary because everything is indicated perfectly. However, now at home I enjoy my booklet to refresh my memory.

Audio Guides are available, charges apply. Guided tours (departing hourly from 10 am to 3 pm in summer, and twice a day ? 10.15am and 2pm ? in winter) take 60 minutes and cost NZ$ 11 per person. We saw some tours racing through the museum ? kind of funny ;-)

If you arrive at the full hour, I recommend not to start where everybody starts, and come back to the ground floor at the end. And do not miss it ? this IS New Zealand, with the natural forces that have shaped it, its earthquakes and eruptions, animals and plants, and outside (called Bush City) into a living forest, over a swingbridge, and into a cave.

There is one level dedicated to Maori history and culture. In other rooms you find paintings of modern artists (photographing not allowed...), as well as stories about sheep and wool, migrants and technical innovation, and so on, and so on.

Open daily 10am ? 6pm, on Thurdays until 9pm, free entry, charges for short-term exhibitions, The Time Warp and StoryPlace.

Address: Cable Street
Directions: On the Waterfront, between Civic Square and Passenger Terminal.
Or walk down Taranaki or Tory Street from Courtenay Place.

Phone: (04) 381 7000
Website: http://www.tepapa.govt.nz

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 16, 2008
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