From classical institutions to major contemporary cultural events, Wellington is a hub for artistic expression.
Museums, theatres, public sculpture and poetry are woven into the urban landscape, creating an environment of discovery and storytelling.
Australasia’s most-visited museum for a reason, Te Papa is host to a variety of thought-provoking and informative exhibitions, from the extraordinary combined effort of Weta Workshop and Te Papa to create Gallipoli: The scale of our war, to stories rich in Maori history and some of New Zealand’s most significant artwork housed in Nga Toi.
Wellington’s compact nature means that festivals bring a vibrant and colourful energy to the streets. New Zealand Festival, held in February 2016, welcomes a huge number of local and international artists to Wellington for around three weeks of spectacular, world-class performance events. The internationally renowned World of WearableArt™ Awards Show is a theatrical design and performance extravaganza which thousands flock to every year across September and October.
As the capital city of New Zealand, it’s easy to see and experience Maori culture and heritage in Wellington. Take a Māori Highlights Tour and gain insights into Māori culture at Te Papa. See that dramatic installation that uses holographic effects to tell Maori creation legends at Wellington Museum or go behind the scenes to view Maori taonga (treasures) close up with a Flat Earth Maori Treasures tour.
There are over 55 galleries across the Wellington region, with some of New Zealand’s most significant artworks to be found at Te Papa’s Nga Toi exhibition. The ever-changing exhibitions at City Gallery and The Dowse Art Museum provide visitors with captivating and bold contemporary exhibitions.
It won’t take you long to discover that Wellington is full of public sculpture. Many of the pieces are kinetic, taking advantage of the city’s environment. Along the waterfront you’ll also find the Writers Walk, where words by 23 of New Zealand’s most noted writers have been immortalised in sculptural slabs and metallic bench inlays. Visit the Wellington i-SITE Visitor Information Centre to pick up maps and guidebooks