Wellington Museum shares the fascinating stories of the Wellington region. All housed within the beautiful 1892 heritage building designed by leading architect Frederick de Jersey Clere.
The Bond Store
When you enter Wellington Museum you’re transported straight to Pōneke’s waterfront in the late 1800s – a time when the Museum was known as the Bond Store, where it was a bonded cargo warehouse holding goods.
Starting from 1900, walk around Telling Tales and see the Hītorī of Pōneke during the turbulent 20th century, as Pōneke evolved into The Coolest Little Capital.
Enter the nautical world of ships and sailors, explorers and seafarers. Steer ships and haul cargo on board as you enter Jack’s Boathouse. Experience living in a real captain’s cabin and learn more about Pōneke’s best-loved dog, Paddy the Wanderer.
In this emotive account of the 1968 Wahine disaster, a tragic moment in Pōneke’s maritime history is shown through the eyes of noted Aotearoa filmmaker Gaylene Preston.
Von Kohorn Room
For sheer opulence, enter the grand Von Kohorn Room, once the boardroom of the powerful Wellington Harbour Board. Listen to the historical accounts of the momentous decisions made here, including the declaration of Pōneke as Aotearoa’s first nuclear-free port.
Explore different perspectives and alternative histories, journeys and migrations. This exhibition showcases our most prized Taonga, Te Whanganui a Tara (The Great Harbour of Tara), and contemporary work from Māori artists and poets. With a gallery-like feel and strong graphics, this space is set to stimulate, question and interact.
A Millennium Ago
A Millennium Ago – Māori Stories from Way Back uses intriguing theatrical illusionistic techniques to tell Māori creation legends.
It’s here that the weird, worrisome and wonderful stories of te hītori o Pōneke take centre stage. Displaying fantastical creations from lions to flying saucers, this steampunk-styled exhibit space is a museum experience with a difference. The Attic begs you to be curious. To explore. To listen. Even to time-travel. And to be totally engaged. You never know what you’ll find.
Stashed in The Attic is a time machine, Ngā Hau, which combines the magic of cinema with installation art. Spinning and clanking its way through time, Ngā Hau takes you on a journey through Wellington’s history, where you meet significant characters who share their stories with you. Ngā Hau breathes life into our Hītorī – you’ll be captivated!
Ngā Hau was developed by Perceptual Engineering in conjunction with Wellington Museum.
The Frederick de Jersey Clere Room
Wellington Museum (The Bond Store) was designed by Frederick de Jersey Clere. Inside The Attic is a room dedicated to The English-born architect Frederick de Jersey Clere, where you’ll learn about the planning and design of the building, and see its original blueprints. The Bond Store is one of the most architecturally significant buildings in Aotearoa.