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Planning a trip to New Zealand with your family? You must visit Te Papa: the best museum in New Zealand for families. It has something to peak any interest and is appropriate for all ages. And, best of all, admission is free, so your wallet will love it as much as your kids do! Keep reading to see why Te Papa should be at the top of your family’s must-do list for New Zealand.
Te Papa has 6 floors full of exhibits. These cover a wide range of topics, including marine animals, history, fashion, and art. There’s even an outdoor section!
Scattered throughout the museum, you will find small rooms dedicated to kids. These rooms are set up to be interactive and hands on. Kids are encouraged to touch, explore, and work with everything in these areas.
You could easily spend an hour or more in one of these rooms. There is so much for kids to experience.
In one room, they have a life-sized model of a blue whale’s heart. It was big enough for kids to climb in!
On level one, you will find the outdoor native bush walk, as well as the main entrance, cafe, and store.
Level 2 features a nature and marine exhibit . It also holds a temporary exhibit space, which showcases rotating and traveling exhibits.
During our trip, the temporary exhibit was an incredible walk through of the Gallipoli battle of World War II as told from the perspective of some of the New Zealand soldiers who fought in it. This was the most fascinating museum exhibit I have ever seen!
Level 3 is dedicated to exhibits on New Zealand wars and the creation of New Zealand through volcanic eruptions. On level 4, you will find Maori and other tribal and cultural art and artifacts. Levels 5 and 6 house their art collection.
During our visit, one of the art collections on display was an extensive fashion collection by a group of Polynesian women living in New Zealand called the Polynesian Sisters.
Te Papa Location & Hours
Te Papa is located on the water’s edge in downtown Wellington on the North Island of New Zealand. The address is 55 Cable Street.
It is open from 10 am to 6 pm everyday except for Christmas Day. And, of course, as I mentioned above, admission is free for everyone!
Te Papa has everything you need to spend the full day there. There are three cafes and three stores located inside the museum. Additionally, you will find parents’ rooms, ATM’s, a bar, and free wifi throughout the museum.
There is a small information desk near the main entrance and a larger one on the second floor in case you have questions or need assistance.
If you are driving to Te Papa, you don’t have to worry about not finding a place to park. There is a large surface parking area right in front of the museum. There is also a parking garage and street parking available by the museum.
Because there is so much to see and do at Te Papa, I would recommend getting there early. This will allow you to beat the crowds and will give your family plenty of time to see everything they want.
Don’t underestimate how much time you can spend here. You can easily devote an entire day or more to explore all it has to offer. I could have spent a couple hours in the Gallipoli exhibit alone!
If your family has differing interests, consider splitting up to explore different areas of the museum. This will allow each person to fully experience the displays that interest them without feeling rushed. Because the museum offers free wifi, it should be easy to find each other later.
If your family begins to get tired and hungry during your visit, take a break in one of the cafes to rest your feet and fill your tummies. This will give everyone the chance to recharge.
If you have little ones, spend some time in the kids’ rooms so they can examine exhibits on their level. If they need to burn a little energy during the visit, take them to the outdoor section where they can stretch their legs.
Te Papa is not only New Zealand’s best museum, it is also one of the best museums for families in the world. And it’s completely free to visit! This is a must-do activity at anytime, but is an excellent choice for a rainy day in Wellington. There is sure to be something to please everyone in your family at Te Papa.
For more information on Te Papa, visit their website.
Have you been to Te Papa? Leave me a comment and let me know what you thought of it.
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