Special Events in Wellington

One of Wellington's biggest festival/cultural events is Zealandia, a marvelous array of exhibits and entertainment dedicated to the natural history of New Zealand. The exhibits include prehistoric bird displays, the amazing sanctuary valley that houses many of the country's endangered species, and interactive gallery workshops where visitors can meet some of New Zealand's most prominent animal conservationists.

The exhibits have been on display at the new Zealandia display grounds, located north of the city center in the Karori district. Night tours can be arranged with reservations required. The exhibit and cultural events are just a 20-minute drive from Wellington International Airport.

Carter Observatory
National Geographic has teamed with city officials to present the Wildest Weather in the Solar System exhibit and workshops, held at the Carter Observatory. This event brings to life the extraordinary natural forces at work within the solar system. Visitors witness a 400-year-old hurricane on Jupiter, watch methane rain showers on Saturn's moon Titan, and fly through the thick atmosphere of Venus. The computer-generated visual effects are stunning. The event is ongoing and is open to the public. The Carter Observatory is located in the botanic gardens west of downtown Wellington.

Kermadec Exhibition
The exciting Kermadec exhibition is a collection of art and sculpture from several noted artists who sailed through the Kermadec waters north of New Zealand. The team visited some of the most remote and untouched natural areas in all of Oceania. The event is held at the City Gallery Wellington and includes exhibits from all of the artists who made the voyage. Paintings, poetry, and sculptures all come together at this exciting event, open daily to the public.

Italian Film Festival
The annual Italian Film Festival is one of Wellington's biggest, focusing on unseen independent films from the country of Italy. Film classifications include comedy, drama, and documentary. The event is held at several venues in and around downtown Wellington including the famous Paramount Theatre. Visitors can travel the 20 miles from Wellington International Airport by car or shuttle, stay at one of the downtown hotels, and take in as many as 20 films in less than three days.

Museum of New Zealand
The Museum of New Zealand is home to the Slice of Heaven cultural event. This is an assortment of exhibits, storytelling sessions, and short film presentations detailing the entire human history of New Zealand. Major themes include social diversity, the role of New Zealand during the Second World War, and the rights of minorities. The museum is located in downtown Wellington, just a short drive from the airport and train station.