Te Papa New Zealand Museum

55 Cable Street wellington

(64) 4-381 7000

See Website

Banish all thoughts of a dusty museum – the Te Papa is an incredible place where you can easily spend a day learning about New Zealand culture, nature, history and contemporary life in interactive and beautifully presented exhibitions. Children especially will be entertained thanks to hand-on displays, which incorporate sight, sound, smell and touch into a visit. Much like in the Museum of Natural History in New York, there are whole sections devoted to animal life, including the skeleton of a 69-foot blue whale. There are also dramatic explanations of how the country came to exist, the massive volcanic eruption of 1886, and many Maori treasures, including a massive carved doorway.

The six-story building sits right on Wellington's waterfront and its cafés and gift shops are also of a surprisingly high quality. In short, if you are passing through Wellington even briefly, it would be a huge loss not to make a point of visiting this fascinating museum.

Indagare Tip: Start with the innovative film-cum-movie set-cum exhibit Golden Days, which depicts some of New Zealand's most fascinating historic events of the last 1000 years (in 13 minutes).

Most incredibly, it is open every day of the year and free of admission, although most visitors make a donation to this wonderful place.

Written by Simone Girner

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