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Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa) Tours

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Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa)
Located on Wellington’s waterfront, the Museum of New Zealand, aka Te Papa Tongarewa or simply Te Papa, holds massive collections of New Zealand art and artifacts. Hear stories from local communities, see some of the best contemporary Aotearoa art, and entertain your kids while teaching them about the world at the museum’s Discovery Centres.
 
The Basics
New Zealand’s national museum is full of art and stories shining a light on darkened corners of the nation’s history, society, and environment. Te Papa (“our place”) tailors their short-term, long-term, and international exhibitions for all ages, making it a popular space for education and discovery among young children and their parents. Te Papa also houses stunning Maori artifacts—such as Te Hau ki Turanga, a faithfully preserved meeting house from precolonial times—and remarkable modern displays, such as John Britten’s speed record–breaking Britten V1000 motorcycle.
 
A wide range of guided tours are available: Visit the Maori highlights with the help of a Te Papa host, or turn up late and get an abbreviated whirlwind tour of all you need to see. The museum is also a stop on a hop-on hop-off minivan excursion.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Te Papa is ideal for anyone interested in history, art, and Maori culture, and all first-time visitors to Wellington.
  • Catch a breath of fresh air in Te Papa’s Bush City, a slice of native forest in the heart of the city.
  • Take in Te Marae, Te Papa’s vibrant, contemporary community gathering place.
  • Grab food or coffee at one of the museum’s cafés and bars.
  • Special guided tours are available for the blind and visually impaired to explore the museum through touch and sound.
  • The museum as accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. Wheelchairs and mobility scooters are available free of charge.
 
How to Get There
Te Papa is a short walk from most highlights in central Wellington. From the cruise ship terminal, walk down Waterloo Quay and onto the waterfront—you can’t miss the museum across the harbor. Alternatively, catch a taxi, or drive and park under the museum.

When to Get There
The museum is open from 9am to 6pm, and can get very busy around midday, especially during school holidays. Avoid the worst of the crowds with an early morning or mid-afternoon visit.
 
Educational Events at Te Papa
The Museum of New Zealand hosts events throughout the year. Listen to the museum’s curators talk about exhibits, hear excerpts from emerging and established authors’ new works, and enjoy panel discussions on the hot social and political topics of the day.
Address: 55 Cable Street, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Admission: Free, but some charges may apply for special exhibits
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Museum of Te Papa Tongarewa Twilight Express Tour

The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, which translates as 'the place of treasures of this land,' is Wellington’s must-visit attraction. Popular with tourists and Kiwis alike, Te Papa — or Our Place — is a treasure trove of New Zealand history and art, Māori culture, the Pacific and the natural environment. On this 45-minute express tour, you’ll explore the museum in the early evening, when the daytime crowds have thinned. Check off the main highlights on each of the museum’s six floors, and gain additional insight into New Zealand’s land and history from your guide’s commentary.
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Duration: 45 minutes
From  
US$ 13.28
From  
US$ 13.28
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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Guided Tour

Get a personal introduction to Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand’s premier museum based in Wellington. This 1-hour guided tour provides an overview of the museum’s interactive exhibits, artifacts, fine art and natural history displays so that you can better explore the collection on your own. You’ll get a deeper look at Maori cultural heritage and colonial history with an expert guide who share insights and offers suggestions for galleries that might suit your interests.
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Duration: 1 hour
From  
US$ 13.28
From  
US$ 13.28
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Maori Highlights Tour

Get a 60-minute introduction to the highlights of Te Papa’s ‘taonga,’ meaning a ‘cultural treasures’ in the Māori language. While admission to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is free, a small-group tour with a museum guide offers more insight on the enrich your understanding of this unique culture.
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Duration: 1 hour
From  
US$ 13.28
From  
US$ 13.28
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Shore Excursion: Wellington Highlights Small Group Tour

Maximise your time in port in Wellington with a 6-hour shore excursion and take in the highlights of the New Zealand capital. Ride the Wellington Cable Car, take in the views from Mount Victoria, explore the old and new St. Paul's Cathedral, visit the famous Weta Cave, and enjoy free time to explore independently. Port pickup and drop-off is included.
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Duration: 6 hours
From  
US$ 79.04
From  
US$ 79.04
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Guided Wellington Sightseeing Tour by Electric Bike

The hills around Wellington offer a spectacular backdrop for a cycling tour, but you don’t need to worry about biking uphill. This 4-hour electric bike tour takes all the effort out of cycling, so you can concentrate on admiring the sights and enjoying the views.
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Duration: 4 hours
From  
US$ 83.03
From  
US$ 83.03
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Wellington Sightseeing Tour

Whether it’s your first time in Wellington or you just want to see as much as possible during your time in port,, this half-day sightseeing tour offers a great introduction to the city and a diverse range of sights. Visit the iconic Weta Studios and the historic Old St Paul’s Cathedral, ride the cable car to the top of the city, and enjoy panoramic views of Wellington Harbor from the Botanic Gardens and the top of Mount Victoria.
  • Duration: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Duration: 3 hours 20 minutes
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US$ 65.09
From  
US$ 65.09
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Wellington City Sightseeing Small-Group Tour

Get introduced to the cosmopolitan city of Wellington on a small-group sightseeing tour by luxury mini-coach. You’ll travel along the south coast and into the heart the capital, including the suburb of Thorndon, site of the New Zealand Parliament Buildings and Beehive. Travel by cable car to the summit of Mt Victoria and visit the national Te Papa museum. Choose a half-day itinerary or upgrade for a full day that includes a beach picnic or cafe lunch. Numbers are limited to six people for an intimate experience.
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Duration: 8 hours
From  
US$ 116.24
From  
US$ 116.24
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7-Day North Island Adventure Tour - Auckland to Wellington Return

Travel round-trip from Auckland to Wellington and discover top New Zealand attractions with ease on this 7-day North Island adventure tour. Marvel at New Zealand’s natural beauty at sites including Cathedral Cove, Hot-Water Beach and Huka Falls. Discover Maori culture and tradition among bubbling mud pools in Rotorua, and explore Hobbiton with your guide. Explore Whakahoro on horseback and take the breathtaking Tongariro Crossing through the volcanic wilderness of the Tongaririo National Park. Visit Te Papa, Wellington’s national museum, and explore the art galleries and botanical gardens.
  • Duration: 6 days
  • Duration: 6 days
From  
US$ 840.22
From  
US$ 840.22
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Wellington South Coast Discovery Helicopter Flight

Explore the outskirts of Wellington and the landscape beyond on this helicopter flight tour. While listening to commentary from your pilot/guide, fly over the rugged shores and seal colonies of the South Coast, the Cook Strait, the Karori Rock Lighthouse, and the Makara Wind Farm.
  • Duration: 40 minutes
  • Duration: 40 minutes
From  
US$ 218.52
From  
US$ 218.52
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Bay of Many Coves Helicopter Tour with 3-Course Lunch from Wellington

Across the Cook Strait is the Marlborough Sounds, a cluster of picturesque bays, inlets and islands. Set in one of these bays is the Bay of Many Coves Resort, a luxury hotel that can only be accessed by boat or helicopter. Your helicopter will leave the Wellington waterfront and fly you over the Cook Strait to the Resort. Once there, you’ll be treated to a three-course lunch at the resort’s gourmet restaurant The Foredeck.
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Duration: 3 hours
From  
US$ 530.70
From  
US$ 530.70
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17-Day Kiwi Explorer

Make this most of your time in New Zealand with this small group tour, which winds through some of the best spots on both islands. From the museums of Wellington to the magnificent Franz Josef glacier, New Zealand has surprises both cultural and natural. This tour allows you to see some of the best spots in New Zealand, traveling in coaches and staying in a range of quality accommodation.
  • Duration: 17 days
  • Duration: 17 days
From  
US$ 2,100.00
From  
US$ 2,100.00
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15-Minute Wellington Harbour Helicopter Flight

Soar over Wellington Harbour in a helicopter during this 15-minute flight. Learn about the history, culture, and environment of the harbor's landscape through your pilot's commentary. Get views and aerial photo ops of the Cook Strait, Matiu Somes Island, and some of Wellington city's landmarks.
  • Duration: 15 minutes
  • Duration: 15 minutes
From  
US$ 152.10
From  
US$ 152.10
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Wellington Waterfront Bike Tour

Bundle up for this 3-hour bike tour around “Windy Wellington,” so nicknamed due to the high winds brought in by the Cook Straight. Head out along the waterfront past the Te Papa museum and the beaches of Oriental Bay. Cruise the southern coastline, admiring the colorful Victorian homes and picturesque views. Plenty of stops for photos and sightseeing are included.
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Duration: 3 hours
From  
US$ 85.68
From  
US$ 85.68
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Wellington Self-Guided Audio Tour

Explore Wellington at your own pace with this self-guided audio tour. Follow your guide's directions to attractions all around the capital. Start at the iconic Cable Car, explore the city’s Botanical Gardens, visit the city’s museums and art galleries and take in the harbour from the summit of Mount Victoria.
  • Duration: 1 to 3 hours
  • Duration: 1 to 3 hours
From  
US$ 19.99
From  
US$ 19.99
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Wellington luxury custom sceneic tours

New Zealand’s charming capital is known as a vibrant cultural hub with plenty of attractions to explore. This fully customizable, half-day tour lets visitors choose their own itinerary from a curated list of the city’s best sights. This tour is the perfect option for first-time travelers to Wellington, particularly those looking for experiences catered to their individual preferences.
  • Duration: 3 to 30 minutes
  • Duration: 3 to 30 minutes
From  
US$ 116.24
From  
US$ 116.24
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Intro to Wellington Bike Tour

The essential introduction to Wellington! Jump on a bike and our guide will show you around the Wellington Waterfront and introduce you to some fascinating past and present figures who have made Wellington the creative capital it is today. This tour is perfect for those with just a couple of hours to spare or who prefer their riding to be only on cycle paths. This route is only 10km so the riding is easy and the distance is short (if you're after a longer bike ride, check out our Half Day Tour). Our Introduction to Wellington tour is set at an easy pace with plenty of time for questions and taking photos at each of the tour stops. Our tour focuses on six city shaping people and we’ll point out some key Wellington landmarks along the way including the Parliament, Wellington Stadium, Te Papa Museum, Cuba St, Oriental Bay, Wellington Railway Station and the historic Wellington Waterfront. We use regular bikes for this tour as it's mostly flat, but you can upgrade to an electric bike.
  • Duration: 120 to 150 minutes
  • Duration: 120 to 150 minutes
From  
US$ 63.10
From  
US$ 63.10
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Reverse Traverse - 14 days - Top Rated Adventure Tour

Our tours offer a totally unique way to explore and enjoy the outdoor beauty of New Zealand. With our department of conservation license we provide you direct access to the most remote and beautiful areas of the country - getting off the beaten track.We combine accommodation in spectacular and remote locations.There's great flexibility to choose your favourite options everyday and with more meals included you will save time and money for the things you love.Top rated in National Geographic's "Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth"
  • Duration: 14 days
  • Duration: 14 days
From  
US$ 1,780.06
From  
US$ 1,780.06
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Ultimate Explorer - Top Rated New Zealand Adventure Tour

Our tours offer a totally unique way to explore and enjoy the outdoor beauty of New Zealand. With our department of conservation license we provide you direct access to the most remote and beautiful areas of the country - getting off the beaten track.We combine accommodation in spectacular and remote locations.There's great flexibility to choose your favourite options everyday and with more meals included you will save time and money for the things you love.Top rated in National Geographic's "Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth"
  • Duration: 28 days
  • Duration: 28 days
US$ 2,988.25
US$ 597.65 savings
From  
US$ 2,390.60
US$ 2,988.25US$ 597.65 savings
US$ 2,988.25
US$ 597.65 savings
From  
US$ 2,390.60
US$ 2,988.25US$ 597.65 savingsSee Details

North Island Flexible Adventure Bus Pass - Auckland to Wellington Return

Experience the best of New Zealand’s North Island on your own schedule, all without the stress of renting a car or navigating country roads. With this hop-on/hop-off travel pass starting and ending in Auckland, visit up to severn top destinations like Rotorua, Raglan, and Wellington, stopping wherever you like and staying on the circuit for up to 12 months. Comfortable transport is included, and activities plus accommodation are available day by day, so there’s no need to pre-book hotels.
  • Duration: 10 to 365 days
  • Duration: 10 to 365 days
From  
US$ 397.86
From  
US$ 397.86
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Total Aotearoa - 24 days - Top Rated New Zealand Adventure Tour

Our tours offer a totally unique way to explore and enjoy the outdoor beauty of New Zealand. With our department of conservation license we provide you direct access to the most remote and beautiful areas of the country - getting off the beaten track.We combine accommodation in spectacular and remote locations.There's great flexibility to choose your favourite options everyday and with more meals included you will save time and money for the things you love.Top rated in National Geographic's "Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth"
  • Duration: 24 days
  • Duration: 24 days
From  
US$ 2,822.86
From  
US$ 2,822.86
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Ultimate Explorer ex Christchurch - Top Rated Adventure Tour

Our tours offer a totally unique way to explore and enjoy the outdoor beauty of New Zealand. With our department of conservation license we provide you direct access to the most remote and beautiful areas of the country - getting off the beaten track.We combine accommodation in spectacular and remote locations.There's great flexibility to choose your favourite options everyday and with more meals included you will save time and money for the things you love.Top rated in National Geographic's "Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth"
  • Duration: 28 days
  • Duration: 28 days
From  
US$ 2,988.25
From  
US$ 2,988.25
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NEW TO VIATOR

Reverse Traverse ex Christchurch - 15 days - New Zealand Adventure Tour

Our tours offer a totally unique way to explore and enjoy the outdoor beauty of New Zealand. With our department of conservation license we provide you direct access to the most remote and beautiful areas of the country - getting off the beaten track.We combine accommodation in spectacular and remote locations.There's great flexibility to choose your favourite options everyday and with more meals included you will save time and money for the things you love.Top rated in National Geographic's "Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth"
  • Duration: 15 days
  • Duration: 15 days
From  
US$ 1,916.22
From  
US$ 1,916.22
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30-Minute Romantic Helicopter Tour from Wellington

Enjoy aerial views of Wellington and the surrounds with a glass of bubbly in hand and a special someone by your side. Learn about the history and geology of Wellington's landscape through guided commentary from your pilot as you fly. Make a stop at a remote location, perched on the edge of a cliff, with stunning views of the Marlborough Sounds.
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Duration: 30 minutes
From  
US$ 581.18
From  
US$ 581.18
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