Landmarks Walking Tour in Wellington (Self Guided), Wellington

New Zealand is a set of islands in the Pacific Ocean that was isolated from the rest of the world for many centuries. Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, is a city rich in history and culture as it is populated by immigrants from around the world. This self-guided tour will lead you through some of the outstanding landmarks of this magnificent city.
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Landmarks Walking Tour in Wellington Map

Guide Name: Landmarks Walking Tour in Wellington
Guide Location: New Zealand » Wellington (See other walking tours in Wellington)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 Km or 3.5 Miles
Author: vickyc
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Katherine Mansfield House
  • Magyar Millennium Park
  • Parliament Buildings
  • Beehive
  • Old Government Buildings
  • Turnbull House
  • Wellington Botanic Garden
  • Antrim House
  • Albatross Fountain
  • Civic Square
  • New Zealand Dominion Museum
  • National War Memorial
Katherine Mansfield House

1) Katherine Mansfield House

The Katherine Mansfield Birthplace House is the home where one of the world's most talented writers and New Zealand's most outstanding author spent her childhood. The Birthplace is open to the public, having been restored and furnished by the Katherine Mansfield Birthplace Society Incorporated. Now it is a museum where you can see how the Mansfield family lived, and how this impacted the imagination of the author.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Sunday 10 am – 4 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Magyar Millennium Park

2) Magyar Millennium Park

People from different ethnic origins live in New Zealand, and some of them have their own national monuments. The Magyar Millennium Park in Wellington is a unique Hungarian memorial in New Zealand, opened on 20 August 2006. There you will see two separate monuments relating to Hungary: a decorative wooden gate shipped from Hungary and a wooden plinth representing freedom, which was made in New Zealand.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Parliament Buildings

3) Parliament Buildings (must see)

Situated on a 45,000 square meter site, The Parliament Buildings house the New Zealand Parliament. The Parliament Buildings include: the Parliament House, the Executive Wing, the Parliamentary Library and Bowen House. An earlier wooden Parliament House was destroyed by fire in 1907 along with all other parliament buildings except the library. A competition to find a replacement design was announced by Prime Minister Joseph Ward in February 1911 and 33 designs were entered. The winning design, by Government Architect John Campbell, was selected by Colonel Vernon, former Government Architect for New South Wales. As another of Campbell's entries won fourth place, the actual design is a combination of both entries. The design was divided into two stages. The first half, a Neoclassical building, contained both chambers and the second half Bellamy's and a new Gothic Revival library to replace the existing one.

Despite cost concerns, Prime Minister William Massey let construction of the first stage begin in 1914, but without much of the roof ornamentation or the roof domes. The outbreak of World War I created labour and material shortages that made construction difficult. Although the building was unfinished, Members of Parliament moved into it in 1918 to avoid having to use the old, cramped Government House (which housed the Governor). In 1922, the first stage was completed (the second stage was never built). The building was finally officially opened in 1995 by Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of New Zealand, after its comprehensive strengthening and refurbishment.

The land intended for the second stage of Parliament House is occupied by the Executive Wing. This building conceived by British architect Sir Basil Spence in 1964, largely designed by the Ministry of Works, was officially opened by Elizabeth II, Queen of New Zealand in 1977. The government moved into the building in 1979. Due to its distinctive shape, it is referred to colloquially as "The Beehive".

Completed in 1899, the Parliamentary Library is the oldest of the buildings. It stands to the north of Parliament House (to its right, looking from the front). The library was designed in Gothic revival style and was fire resistant, being constructed of masonry. The third story of the design was not built to save money. It had an iron fire-door separating the library from the main entrance section. This saved the library from the fire of 1907 which destroyed the rest of the (wooden) parliament buildings. Coincidentally, exactly the same thing happened in Ottawa in 1916—with fire doors saving the Library when the Centre Block of the Canadian Parliament burned. Like Parliament House the library was strengthened and refurbished in the 1990s. It still houses Parliament's library.

4) Beehive (must see)

After the scottish architect Sir Basil Spence provided the original conceptual design of the Beehive in 1964, it was built in stages between 1969 and 1979. The Beehive is the common name for the Executive Wing of the New Zealand Parliament Buildings. The building is ten stories (72 m) high and has four floors below street level. The core of the entrance foyer is decorated with marble floors, stainless steel mesh wall panels, and a translucent glass ceiling. The Beehive's brown roof is made from 20 tonnes of hand-welded and seamed copper. It has developed a naturally weathered appearance. The building is extensively decorated with New Zealand art. On the inner wall of the Banquet Hall is a large mural by John Drawbridge portraying the atmosphere and the sky over New Zealand.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Old Government Buildings

5) Old Government Buildings

The Government Buildings Historic Reserve or Old Government Buildings, was built in 1876. It is the largest wooden building in the Southern Hemisphere, and the second-largest wooden building in the world. The building, is classified as a "Category I" historic place, that is places of special or outstanding historic or cultural heritage significance or value. The building is designed in a Neo-Renaissance style, made totally from timber, but it imitates the stone buildings of this style, resembling an Italian stone palace. The timber is from the native kauri trees. New Zealand's remaining public kauri forests are now permanently protected.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Turnbull House

6) Turnbull House

The collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library are in the custody of the National Library and are normally held in its Wellington building. It is named after Alexander Horsburgh Turnbull (1868–1918), whose bequest to the nation included the 55,000 volume nucleus of the current collection. It is charged under the Act to: “Preserve, protect, develop, and make accessible for all the people of New Zealand the collections of that library in perpetuity and in a manner consistent with their status as documentary heritage and taonga” and “Develop the research collections and the services of the Alexander Turnbull Library, particularly in the fields of New Zealand and Pacific studies and rare books” and “Develop and maintain a comprehensive collection of documents relating to New Zealand and the people of New Zealand.”

Turnbull collected the works of John Milton extensively, and the library now has holdings of Milton's works which are "ranked among the finest in the world" and "good collections of seventeenth-century poetical miscellanies and of Dryden material, along with fine sets of literary periodicals."
Sight description based on wikipedia
Wellington Botanic Garden

7) Wellington Botanic Garden (must see)

The Wellington Botanic Garden features plant collections and seasonal displays, a variety of non-native species, including an extensive and incredibly beautiful Rose Garden. The Rose Garden is classified as a "Garden of National Significance" by the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture. The Wellington Cable Car runs between Lambton Quay and the top of the Botanic Garden, and it is the most direct way to get from Wellington's Central Business District to the top part of the garden. There is a large Victorian-style greenhouse, the Begonia House, the Tree House Visitor Center, and a duck pond. Large sculptures and carvings are located throughout the garden, mostly by artists such as Henry Moore, Andrew Drummond and Chris Booth.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Antrim House

8) Antrim House

Antrim House is a historic building on Boulcott Street in Wellington. The house was built for Robert Hannah, an Irish immigrant from County Antrim, in 1905. Constructed mainly of kauri and heart totara on concrete foundations, Antrim House remains a fine example of an Edwardian Italianate house. The building is classified as a "Category I" historic place by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Albatross Fountain

9) Albatross Fountain (must see)

The Albatross fountain is to be found by the waterfront. In the evening, when the sun goes down, the fountain is transformed as it is brightly illuminated. The creator of the Albatross is Tanya Ashken, who started out on her creative journey at the age of 7. She is well known internationally for her sculptures of marine creatures and birds.
Civic Square

10) Civic Square (must see)

Civic Square is an open public area at the centre of Wellington. It marks the boundary between the financial district to the north and the entertainment district to the south.

The square is surrounded by council buildings each with a distinctive architectural style: the town hall and council offices, the Michael Fowler Centre, the central library, the City-to-Sea bridge which Capital E is part of is home to the National Theatre for Children and creative technology experiences, and the City Gallery. The main tiled area is the roof to the underground library car park.

The first real plans for the Civic Square date back to 1944.

The project was completed in 1992.
Sight description based on wikipedia
New Zealand Dominion Museum

11) New Zealand Dominion Museum

The New Zealand Dominion Museum building was completed in 1936, and is located on Buckle Street in Wellington next to the National War Memorial. The building originally housed the National Museum, the National Art Gallery of New Zealand and the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts. It currently houses part of the Massey University Wellington Campus.

Prior to 1913, the Dominion Museum was known as the Colonial Museum. The Colonial Museum was originally housed in a small wooden building behind what is now the New Zealand Parliament Buildings. In 1930, the National Art Gallery and Dominion Museum Act 1930 established a board of trustees, leading to the building on Buckle street. The building housed the Dominion Museum, the National Art Gallery of New Zealand and the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts (who had sold their land and donated the proceeds to the new organization on the provision that they would be accommodated).

In 1972, an act of Parliament updated the Dominion Museum's name to the National Museum. In 1992 Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Act 1992 combined the National Museum and the National Art Gallery to form the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. The Dominion Museum building was featured in Peter Jackson's 1996 film the Frighteners.

The museum houses the Great War Exhibition, created by Sir Peter Jackson, commemorating the role played by New Zealand in the First World War. The exhibition is free for you to visit and will be here for the next 4 years. A donation is gratefully appreciated. Experience the gritty hardship and the horror of the battlefields as seen by those caught in the conflict. The Exhibition also offers you guided tours for a small fee. These depart every twenty minutes and are a great way to make the Exhibition come alive.
Sight description based on wikipedia
National War Memorial

12) National War Memorial

The New Zealand National War Memorial was dedicated in commemoration of the First World War in 1932. The memorial also officially remembers the New Zealanders who gave their lives in the South African Boer War, World War II and the wars in Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam. The War Memorial consists of the War Memorial Carillon, the Hall of Memories, and an unknown New Zealand soldier interred in a tomb, constructed in 2004 in front of the Hall of Memories. Four Rolls of Honor bear the names and ranks of 28,654 New Zealand soldiers. Lyndon Smith's bronze statue of a family group is the focal point for the complex, which is visited by approximately 20,000 people a year.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Wellington, New Zealand

Create Your Own Walk in Wellington

Create Your Own Walk in Wellington

Creating your own self-guided walk in Wellington is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historical Churches Walking Tour

Historical Churches Walking Tour

When immigrants first arrived in New Zealand they brought their beliefs. Most of the first settlers were Christians. The second church built in Wellington, in 1855, still stands today and is a great historic site. This self-guided tour will help you explore the churches and other religious monuments of Wellington.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 Km or 3 Miles
Wellington Introduction Walking Tour

Wellington Introduction Walking Tour

Wellington, jokingly referred to as "Windy Wellington" for the strong winds blowing across the Cook Strait, is also said to be the “coolest little capital in the world”. The list of the local sights drawing tourists to the city in their thousands is long – from Lambton Quay with its iconic red Wellington Cable Car to Te Papa (the Museum of New Zealand) to Civic Square, home to the...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 Km or 3.5 Miles