Government Buildings Historic Reserve


One of Wellington's most interesting historic landmarks, the Government Buildings were formally reopened in January 1996. There is public access to the grounds, which feature examples of New Zealand's flora, including many rare species.


Government Buildings.
Government Buildings

Inside the Government Buildings, visitors may view historical displays and interpretation rooms on the ground floor, and the Cabinet room on the first floor. The rest of the building is leased to the Victoria University School of Law.

The largest wooden building in the Southern Hemisphere

With imposing facades, sweeping staircases, cast iron fireplaces and kauri clad interiors, the Government Buildings are among the finest examples of New Zealand’s architectural heritage. Like many colonial buildings of last century, they were built to resemble an Italian stone palace in an attempt to convey strength and stability in the expanding empire.

It is the second largest wooden building in the world, and the imaginative use of kauri, one of New Zealand’s premier native timbers, could never be replicated in any present day building because our remaining public kauri forests are under permanent protection.


Government Buildings, Lambton Quay, Wellington.

Getting there

Government Buildings are at the north end of Lambton Quay, opposite the Cenotaph below the Beehive.

The public display rooms are open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm week days.

From January to Easter the building is also open on Saturday from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, with tours at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm.

Plan and prepare

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Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for Wellington/Kapiti places


Pōneke / Wellington Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 4 384 7770
Address:   18 Manners Street
Full office details