Culture and history incentive experiences

Entrance to He Tohu at The National Library of New Zealand.
The yellow exterior of Katherin mainsfields house with a well kept garden.

Wharewaka o Poneke

2 Taranaki Street, Wellington

Wellington’s early history is rich in stories — local iwi Te Atiawa can give you an insight into the city’s cultural background with walking tours and waka experiences on the water. The people at Te Wharewaka o Pōneke provide tours that share stories of the city’s Māori past, and explain how it has led to its contemporary culture.

All tours leave from Te Wharewaka o Pōneke — a distinctive building located by Whairepo Lagoon on Wellington’s waterfront. It is the site where Te Aro Pā was located — one of the largest Māori communities in Wellington up until the 1880s.

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New Zealand Parliament Tours

1 Museum Street, Pipitea, Wellington

Go behind the scenes at the Beehive and Parliament House to understand more about New Zealand’s history and how democracy works. Walk the corridors of power and find out about where our laws are written, debated, and passed. You’ll hear anecdotes about past politicians, see some of the artworks and objects from the Parliamentary Collection, and get to know the architectural history of the buildings.

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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

55 Cable Street, Te Aro, Wellington

The largest museum in the country takes pride of place on Wellington’s waterfront. At 36,000 square meters and six stories high, it contains a vast repository of collections with over 800,000 artworks, objects, and specimens. It curates cutting-edge interactive exhibitions with a contemporary, and bicultural approach. Making Te Papa’s museum experience accessible for all. Entry is free and it’s open 365 days a year.

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Entrance to He Tohu at The National Library of New Zealand.

He Tohu at National Library of New Zealand

70 Molesworth Street, Thorndon, Wellington

In the National Library lies He Tohu — home to some of New Zealand’s most important documents. You can view Te Tiriti o Waitangi — signed in 1840, it is the founding agreement between Māori and the Crown. You can also see the 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition which led to New Zealand becoming the first country in the world where all women gained the right to vote. He Whakaputanga — Declaration of Independence is also there.

It’s an essential experience for anyone interested in how Aotearoa has grown as a nation.

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Wellington Museum

3 Jervois Quay, Wellington

Wellington Museum tells the stories of its people — from its maritime history, and Māori and European settlement, to its growth as a region, and its evolution since becoming the capital in 1865. Free exhibitions and experiences pack the four floors of the beautifully restored 19th-century wharf building.

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Nairn Street Cottage

68 Nairn Street, Mount Cook, Wellington

Nairn Street Cottage offers a fascinating insight into the life of the Wallis family across 120 years of habitation. Three generations of the family lived in the cottage from 1857 to the late 1970s. Guided tours run through what life was like for early British colonists and their descendants from both social and technological perspectives. Open daily from 12pm to 4pm. Entry is $8 for adults and $4 for children.

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The yellow exterior of Katherin mainsfields house with a well kept garden.

Katherine Mansfield House & Garden

25 Tinakori Road, Thorndon, Wellington

Katherine Mansfield (1882 to 1923) was a writer of short stories, poetry, letters, journals, and reviews. With many translated into more than 25 languages. The house she was born in and spent the first five years of her life sits in the historical suburb of Thorndon. The two-story wooden house fringed by a well-kept garden has been lovingly restored. It gives a snapshot of late 19th-century colonial New Zealand and an insight into the formative years of New Zealand’s most famous literary daughter.

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