No visit to the capital is complete without a visit to at least one of Wellington’s heritage sites. But we don’t think you should stop and just one, which is why we’ve created this guide to encourage you to visit some of the most popular Wellington heritage sites.
Wellington’s Most Popular Heritage Sites
The definition of a heritage site is one which has either architectural, historic, cultural, archaeological, technological or scientific qualities. Wellington has plenty of these to offer and with transport easily available, there’s no excuse not to visit these popular sites:
Nairn Street Cottage – with a claim to fame of being Wellington’s oldest original cottage, Nairn Street Cottage was home to over three generations of the Wallis family. Take a guided tour and you’ll see the original English wallpaper hanging in the 1860’s nursery, the outhouse which was visited each night by the night-cartman, a copper washing tub, wringer and coal range. With plenty of written material onsite which explains life in days gone by, you’ll find this cottage in walking distance from the CBD.
Old St Paul’s Cathedral - located on Mulgrave Street in Thorndon, Old St Paul’s Cathedral was built in 1866 on the site of Pipitea Pa. No longer a desecrated church, a visit here will enable you to see one of the world’s top timber Gothic Revival architecture examples. With both self-paced and guided tours available, make sure you bring a camera to capture the stunning features.
Mount Cook Police Barracks – in 1893, work began on the Mount Cook Police Station. Bricks made at the Mount Cook brickworks by prisoner labour were used on the building, as well as the boundary walls. Now in private ownership, the building has also been home of overflow from the old Dominion Museum, storage for police uniforms and a few small businesses.
Dominion Museum – also found in Mount Cook is the old Dominion Museum building, which was originally part of the National War Memorial Carillon, National Art Gallery and Gallery of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts. During WW2, underground structures were built beneath the building, and it was used by government forces. Today it is home to Massey University.
Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club – established in 1883 and the world’s first private vessels marina, the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club has a long and proud history. In 1942, the club gave access to its clubhouse to American servicemen to help convalescent soldiers as a hospital, though they left it in 1944 and built their own new building. This building is now the current clubhouse.
By no means is this list of Wellington heritage sites complete – there are literally dozens more, and many are conveniently located near to our wonderful long term rental properties too.