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Things to do

Culture central

You'll find plenty to ignite your imagination here in New Zealand’s culture capital. It's a place packed full of the surprising, the creative and the inspirational. Come discover it all for yourself.

Vibrant visual arts

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Fans of visual art will find plenty of opportunities to feast their eyes in Wellington, with over 50 galleries dotted around the city. Our flagship contemporary gallery, City Gallery hosts a dazzling array of works by local and international artists. Our national museum, Te Papa holds the national art collection and has a wealth of things to see (try starting with our list of seven unmissable exhibits). 

A trip to the theatre

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When it comes to live performance, we’re spoiled for choice in Wellington. The ultra-hip BATS Theatre is the birthplace of many performance legends including Flight of the Conchords; Circa Theatre on the waterfront has been entertaining Wellington for over 40 years; and the historic St James Theatre and Opera House have a classic theatre feel perfect for major shows and musical acts.

Music to our ears

NZSO Credit MattGrace

Wellington knows a thing or two about good music, and our calendar is filled with a variety of concerts to please the ears of all music-lovers. Be blown away NZSO's 2017 season as they celebrate their 70th year, or listen to the soothing sounds of jazz at the Wellington Jazz Festival in winter. 

Care to dance?

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Home to the Royal New Zealand Ballet and the New Zealand School of Dance, Wellington is no stranger to hosting dynamic and delightful dance performances. Be sure to check out the critically acclaimed St Petersburg Ballet Theatre when they come to Wellington with the much-loved ballet Swan Lake this January too. 

Colour your world with festivals

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We love a good arts festival in Wellington, and our compact city centre means they easily bring a vibrant energy to the streets.

New Zealand Festival delivers a dangerously delicious dose of the arts on even-numbered years. Marvel at the eclectic, the experimental and the fantastical at NZ Fringe Festival, or mid-winter musical magic at the Wellington Jazz Festival. Designed especially with young arts-lovers in mind, the Capital E National Arts Festival gives families their fix of theatre, music, dance and circus every two years. While not technically a festival, the internationally renowned World of WearableArt™ Awards Show captivates audiences when they combine fashion, art and theatre. 

Streets of sculpture

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It won’t take you long to discover that Wellington is full of public art and sculpture. Many of the pieces are kinetic, taking of advantage of the city’s connection to the wind, like the Meridian Wind Walk, Max Patte’s bronze figure Solace in the Wind, and the Water Whirler by famed artist Len Lye. You'll also find poetry hidden along the waterfront as part of the Writers Walk

Learning the craft

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Wellington is home to major national arts companies, including the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. It's also the place where many of our up-and-coming artists study under masters of their craft. With creativity everywhere, there's no better place than Wellington to learn the skills and business of professional art.

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