Museum of New Zealand#1 in Best Things To Do in Wellington
The Museum of New Zealand – which also goes by its Maori name, Te Papa Tongarewa, translated as "Container of Treasures" – is just that: a beautiful modern building filled with artifacts and art by predominantly New Zealand artists that piece together both the natural and anthropological history of the country. Of special note are the museum's collections of 20th-century New Zealand paintings and its early New Zealand photography. But its historic collections, including textiles that date back to the 18th century, its Maori tribal carvings and its taxonomic preservation of New Zealand's flora and fauna, are also must-sees.
Many recent visitors said the museum offers something for everyone, whether young or old, local or tourist. The museum restaurants, restrooms and souvenir shops earn high praise as well.
The Museum of New Zealand is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (excluding Christmas Day), and it's free to visit. Fees apply for special exhibits, guided tours and events. You'll find the museum just a stone's throw from the Wellington Waterfront Walk by the Te Papa Museum bus stop. If you opt to drive here, fee-based parking is provided on-site. To learn more about the property, check out the Museum of New Zealand's website.
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#2 Wellington Botanic Garden
The Wellington Botanic Garden spans 60-some acres, fanning out north of Wellington's central business district. The gardens are filled with everything from cacti and roses to tulips and magnolias. Plus, there are gorgeous, wide trails that weave throughout the property, making the experience of viewing all of the flowers, plants and trees even more enjoyable. The on-site cafe is also a great place for a coffee or lunch, according to some recent travelers.
Previous visitors offered favorable reviews of the small but breathtaking Wellington Botanic Garden. Not only did travelers find the flora spectacular, they also appreciated the exercise the many trails afforded them. If you're a fan of tulips, past visitors suggest arriving in September when these vivid plants are in bloom.
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