Turnbull House - closed for earthquake strengthening


Turnbull House, Wellington City. Photo: Richard Nester.
Turnbull House

One of Wellington City's finest heritage buildings, Turnbull House is a popular function and meeting venue.

Turnbull House is currently closed pending earthquake strengthening.


Built in 1918 for the private residence of Alexander Turnbull and to house his extensive collection of maps, pictures, documents and over 55,000 volumes. Described as a mixed Scottish baronial style the building was completed at a cost of £6000. Unfortunately Alexander Turnbull died later that year and bequeathed his entire collection to the Crown. The history of Alexander Turnbull and Turnbull House  has been well documented.

The Alexander Turnbull Library was officially opened in 1920 and remained there until 1973 when it was moved to its current location in the National Library of New Zealand building located on Molesworth Street. Today the Alexander Turnbull Library collection is regarded as New Zealand's largest collection of early printed books and fine printing with a collection policy to cover every period and aspect of our history.

Turnbull House now has a number of roles. It is used extensively by community groups as a popular place to meet within the Wellington CBD and is also a popular location for wedding receptions. It can also cater for corporate groups by providing rooms for training, conferences and seminars.


Turnbull House is in the heart of Wellington City. It is located on Bowen Street, right opposite the Beehive and just a short walk from the Lambton Quay shops.

Getting there

Public transport is just a few metres away with handy parking along The Terrace and at the wharf.

Plan and prepare


Find out more


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


Jesse Butler,
Turnbull House Manager
Email: turnbullhouse@doc.govt.nz

Turnbull House
Phone:      +64 4 473 1737
Full office details
Pōneke / Wellington Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 4 384 7770
Address:   18 Manners Street
Email:   wellingtonvc@doc.govt.nz
Full office details