Old Government Buildings lit up with statue in the foreground.

Nestled in the heart of Wellington you’ll find what was once the world’s second largest wooden building, right here at the end of Lambton Quay. See what else hides amongst the kauri and government history on display.

Guided Tours are at 11.00am and 2.00 pm, tickets are available on Eventbrite. 

Opening Hours

Guided Tours

Available Saturdays December - March
11.00am 2.00pm

Self-Guided Tours Monday - Friday excluding public Holidays
9.00am - 4.30pm

Closed most public holidays

Visitors can view displays on the ground floor and the Cabinet Room on Level One. Other parts of the buildings are closed to the public.

parking no-smoking toilet


Adult Self-Guided Tour Free

Adult Guided Tour $20.00

Gold Card $12.00

Member Free

Under 18 years Free

* Surcharges may apply for special events
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55 Lambton Quay
Wellington 6011

+64 4 4948320


Visit Old Government Buildings

Nau mai, haere mai. Welcome to Old Government Buildings in Wellington, New Zealand. Our wonderful tour guide Mike Deavin tells us the stories behind this magnificent building with a glimpse into the social and political history.

Accessibility Accessibility  

Old Government Buildings is a three-storey building, with some steps and uneven surfaces. There is access for people with wheelchairs to all areas of the building via a ramp at the rear of the building at the northern end, closest to Stout Street. There is a drop-off point for visitors with limited mobility at the Whitmore Street entry.

Cafe Food and Drink

Visitors are welcome to bring a picnic with them to enjoy in our grounds. Please take all food and rubbish with you. There is also a great selection of local cafes and eateries located within walking distance of Old Government Buildings.

This is a smoke and vape free site.

Venue Hire

Old Government Buildings is a working university campus for Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington faculty of law. However, we have a range of options available for photography including wedding or graduation photos and video shoots. Please fill in this Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington form for our joint approval. Contact us for more info.

Old Government Buildings venue Credit Gerry Keating
Children and whānau

Both inside and out, there are things for kids to discover. Inside explore the vault or take a ride in an open-air lift. Keep an eye-out for the mummified rat.

Outside, there is plenty of room to stretch little legs. Make sure you check out the surveyor’s chain on the right-hand side of the building, one of only two left in the country. Before rulers and metres, this is how we measured things.

And if you’re really keen, have a go at counting the windows from the outside. We’ll give you a hint… it’s more than a hundred.

Things to remember

Old Government Buildings is a working university campus for Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington faculty of law. Due to this much of the building is closed to the public, by taking a guided tour you will be able to view specific areas of the building. During exam time some we ask visitors to keep noise to a minimum so students can concentrate.  

We care for some important taonga (treasures) in our collection and our heritage buildings have lived a long life, so some rooms or items in the house may be off limits at times for conservation and maintenance.

Some rooms may be dimly lit depending on the weather and time of year.

Safe Space

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga is proud to be part of the Safe Space Alliance, offering safe and inclusive spaces that welcome and support the LGBTQI+ community.

A safe space is a space where the LGBTQI+ community can freely express themselves without fear. It is a space that doesn’t tolerate violence, bullying, or hate speech towards the LGBTQI+ community.

Safe spaces logo a rainbow circle with the words 'Safe Space, wāhi haumaru'

He Aha Kei te Haere | What's On

Historic black and white photo of Old Government Buildings with people out the front, circa 1880-90s

Ngā Kōrero

Photo: Burton Brothers circa 1880s-90s, National Library

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View of Wellington Cable Car and Wellington city from the Kelburn Lookout

Photo: Graeme Murray

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