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Things to do

Visual arts in Wellington

With a gallery around almost every corner and an ever-changing programme of exhibitions, fans of visual art will find plenty of opportunities to discover the thought-provoking, the contemporary, and the inspirational, in New Zealand's culture capital.

City Gallery

city gallery canberra

City Gallery hosts a regularly rotating array of exhibitions from local and international contemporary artists. The gallery is currently showing four free exhibitions - abstract digital painting from "Monet of the twenty-first century" Petra Cortright, video performances by Wellington artist Shannon Te Ao (Ngāti Tūwharetoa), 100 Chairs in 100 Days from furniture designer Martino Gamper, and major works from hugely celebrated New Zealand painter Colin McCahon.

Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa

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Housed in our national museum, Ngā Toi is home to an ever-changing line-up from New Zealand's national collection. This summer, explore new works from Te Papa's modern art and design collections, discover remarkable stories of Ngāti Toa Rangatira, and immerse yourself in the wondrous landscapes of New Zealand captured by pioneering artists. 

Simon Denny: Secret Power

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Part of Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa's current season, Simon Denny’s acclaimed Venice Biennale exhibition Secret Power explores surveillance, espionage, and New Zealand’s role in the Five Eyes international intelligence alliance.

Must-see WWI exhibitions


Make your pilgrimage to Wellington's incredible WWI exhibitions and pay tribute to the past. The Great War Exhibition, created by Sir Peter Jackson, and Gallipoli: The scale of our war, created by Sir Richard Taylor, Weta Workshop and Te Papa, are not to be missed. 

Galleries galore

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With over 50 galleries to choose from, there's something to suit every artist and admirer. Not sure where to start? Here are a few of our favourites: Kura Gallery, AVID Gallery, New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, Page Blackie Gallery, ROAR! Gallery, and New Zealand Portrait Gallery

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Te Papa

Our national museum Te Papa is host to a variety of thought-provoking, informative and interactive exhibitions. With six levels to choose from, you might not know where to start. Lucky for you, we've pulled together a list of seven unmissable exhibits to get you started. Best of all, the museum is free.

City Gallery Wellington


Located in the heart of Civic Square, City Gallery Wellington offers world-class exhibitions of contemporary New Zealand and international art. It's ever-changing programme allows diverse audiences to experience art in new and inspiring ways.

PATAKA Art + Museum


A short drive or train trip from the city, PATAKA Art + Museum in Porirua showcases the best in contemporary Maori and Polynesian art from around New Zealand and the world. With five main galleries and over 14 major exhibitions each year, PATAKA makes for a rewarding day trip for art lovers.

The Dowse Art Museum

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Also a short drive from the city, The Dowse Art Museum issure to intrigue with its striking contemporary exhibitions. From exhibitions to workshops, artist talks, conferences, installation, education... they do it all.

Like what you see? Browse through more of Wellington's upcoming exhibitions

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