Hear the stories of the city: Wellington Museum
Visit the museum voted as one of the top 50 museums in the world
The stories of Wellington and its people cover everything from the maritime history, early Maori and European settlement, the growth of the region, and how it has evolved since becoming the capital in 1865.
Upon entering, you’re taken back to Wellington’s waterfront as it was in the late 1800s - and just a word of warning, watch out for the scuttling rat! Walk through to the room that cleverly tells 100 Wellington tales, starting from 1900, and featuring the great waterfront strike of 1913, the death of New Zealand’s famous author Katherine Mansfield in 1923, the saddle of Wellington Zoo’s star attraction Kamala the elephant, and a tribute to Kirkcaldie and Stains, New Zealand’s longest-running department store.
It’s best to head to the top floor from there and work your way down, allowing at least a few hours to marvel at Wellington’s past. Up in The Attic a time capsule will take you on a 14-minute journey through Wellington’s history. Using a clever combination of cinema and art installations, the time machine spins and clanks and brings to life characters who share their fascinating stories along the way.
Step into the adjoining room and you’ll discover a whole host of interesting anecdotes, many of which are interactive. Wellington Zoo’s first lion, King Dick, and his companion Rusty take pride of place here, and if you push a button, you can hear them roar. Check out one of the sets from New Zealand’s award-winning vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, from Kiwi comedians and actors Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi. Or listen to recounts of UFO sightings in Wellington. There’s even an alien mailbox where kids can post their UFO drawings.