The Greenwood Guide to New Zealand
Wellington, New Zealand

Kids in Wellington, New Zealand

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Te Papa Museum of New Zealand

Wellington

Museums

New Zealand’s waterfront national museum is both externally and internally impressive. Five floors of art, historical objects, national treasures, Maori stories, re-enactments, interpretations, interactive tasks and visual reproductions focus on the individual components that add up to New Zealand’s unique culture and dramatic landscape. The dynamic museum evolves in step with the country it reflects and is kept fresh with a constantly changing programme of entertainment, events and guest displays. My favourite long-standing exhibition is the unassuming ‘walk-in’ theatre/junk shop at floor level. ‘Golden Days’ is a vibrant 10-minute visual spin through New Zealand’s defining historical moments. You’d need about a week to fully conquer this museum, but, as that’s obviously not feasible, be sure you set aside at least half a day. Kids will love the four discovery centres and daily story-telling and will scamper merrily through artificial woodlands, caves and displays. The on-site café stocks great munchies and coffee by the way.

  • Prices: Free entry. Tours $10 adult and $5 child.
  • Contact: Cable Street, Wellington, Downtown Wellington
  • Tel: 04-381-7000
  • Fax: 04-381-7070
  • Email: mail@tepapa.govt.nz
  • Web: www.tepapa.govt.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Staglands Wildlife Reserve

Upper Hutt

Nature & wildlife

Spend the whole day here hand-feeding rare and wonderful species of birds, fish and other animals or walking the 10ha of stream and pond-filled landscape and exploring the old bush settlement. At least ensure you stop off for a coffee in the original log-built café as you pass. A few scrubby paddocks, a vision and an awful lot of hard work have transformed this special landscape into an eco-wonderland.

Staglands Wildlife Reserve
  • Prices: Adults $14, senior citizens $12, children $7. Group rates available. Open every day 10am - 5pm (except Christmas Day). Café open 10:30am - 4:30pm. Free use of on-site BBQ.
  • Contact: Akatarawa Valley, Upper Hutt, Wellington
  • Tel: 04-526-7529
  • Fax: 04-526-8529
  • Email: wildlife@staglands.co.nz
  • Web: www.staglands.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Karori Wildlife Sanctuary

Wellington

Nature & wildlife

Literally minutes from Wellington city centre Korori Wildlife Sanctuary is a mainland oasis of protected flora and fauna. Natural wetland and native New Zealand bush thrive within the predator-proof fenced area and provide homes for a plethora of species (including the little spotted kiwi). Maps are available for DIY guiding, although I’d recommend one of the day- or night-guided tours for a complete picture.

  • Prices: $10 for adults, $4 children.
  • Contact: Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, 31 Waiapu Road, Karori, Wellington
  • Tel: 04-920-2222
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Wellington Highlights

  • Pick up a leaflet from the tourist information centre and head off on one of Wellington's many heritage trails. Wellington is full of classic architecture and notable buildings such as Parliament House and Old St Paul's.
  • Take the short, steep and scenic cable-car ride from Lambton Quay to Kelburn and Wellington's scent-filled botanic gardens. Lady Norwood Rose Garden, a spectacular wheel of colour, blooms throughout the summer.
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