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 Toi Art.
Wellington’s compact nature means that festivals bring a vibrant and colourful energy to the streets. New Zealand Festival held every even-numbered year, brings an amazing array of local and international performers to Wellington for three weeks of spectacular and cutting-edge arts 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.
It’s easy to experience New Zealand’s unique Māori culture and heritage in Wellington. Take a Māori Highlights Tour and gain insights into Māori culture at Te Papa or see that dramatic installation that uses holographic effects to tell Maori creation legends at Wellington Museum. Explore the Te Aro area’s fascinating cultural past with a walking tour or hop in a waka (traditional canoe) and paddle the harbour from Te Wharewaka o Pōneke.
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