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“a very enjoyable relaxed and educational visit”

Parliament Buildings
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Full-Day Wellington Sightseeing Tour
Ranked #13 of 234 things to do in Wellington
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Free, one-hour guided tours of Parliament operate every day on the hour. Take a tour with one of our trained guides to visit key parts of Parliament's buildings and learn about our parliamentary processes, and have an insight in to New Zealand's history and culture. Tours operate seven days a week with the first tour at 10am, last tour 4pm. We recommend you arrive least 15 minutes before the tour departs as tour group sizes are limited and so you have time to check in your belongings. Everyone must leave their bags, coats, phones, cameras and other electronic devices in secure storage at the Visitor Centre in the Beehive. Individuals do not need to book. Groups of 10 or more are required to book their tour in advance. Specialist tours are avaiable on request but must be booked in advance.
Umina Beach, Australia
Level Contributor
122 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“a very enjoyable relaxed and educational visit”
Reviewed November 21, 2013

The tours run every hour and what a great educational tour it was from our very knowledgeable and friendly tour guide.
Whilst we are overseas visitors(Australians) it was really a great experience to be enlightened in a very relaxed manner in not only how the NZ parliamentary system operates but also have the opportunity to visit the buildings and get an insight into their workings-a free 1 hour tour that is relaxed, informative and that good, it is over all too quickly.

Visited November 2013
Thank Tigers2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
75 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Best Tour in Wellie - and it's free!”
Reviewed November 18, 2013

There's something for everyone on this free one hour guided tour. A little light humour, lots of interesting stories, history, modern Brutalist architecture in the Beehive and stunning Victorian interiors and stained glass in the library.

After the security- heavy USA and Britain it was a wonderful sense of freedom to be able to walk the corridors of power, sit in the beautiful Maori decorated Select Committee Room of Maori Affairs and sit in the gallery while Parliament was in session.

Tip - get there 15 minutes early as there is a very interesting film show in the waiting area showing a typical ceremonial opening of Parliament and the 1992 fire in the library.

A wonderful insight into NZ government and history.

Visited November 2013
Thank Gillian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
72 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Learned something!”
Reviewed November 17, 2013

Our botanic gardens walk ended up right at Parliament, and we noticed there were free tours, so we joined the last tour of the day. Be prepared to relinquish almost everything (no photos) at the mandatory coat check. It was well run with a good guide, and we enjoyed the Maori-inspired committee room where part of our briefing was held. We learned something about New Zealand's national government, which banished its senate years ago. The buildings were interesting architecturally, especially the beehive and the renovated older buildings with their extensive earthquake-proofing. Overall, what a great free, educational experience.

Visited November 2013
Thank Paola010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sequim, Washington
Level Contributor
395 reviews
93 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 325 helpful votes
“Best Guide Ever!”
Reviewed November 12, 2013

Took advantage of the free one hour tour of the Parliament House and Buildings in the Capitol of New Zealand in Wellington. This excellent tour included a visit to the meeting room in the "Bee Hive," a trip to the basement to see the elaborate earthquake proofing system, the Parliament Library, and standing on the debating floor of the Parliament House. Evan McCabe was our guide and he was a fountain of information. Most of all, Evan was proud to be citizen of New Zealand, loved his job, and answered all questions with relevant information.

New Zealand has an unique way of governing their country and this tour clearly explained why their system of government works. We especially enjoyed Evan's stories and perspective during our nonstop adventure through the Parliament Buildings. It is refreshing to watch an employee of a country that has done the work to excel as a guide. Seeing the earthquake bearing system was very interesting. Great tour!

Take the first tour of the day to enjoy a smaller group.

Visited November 2013
Thank ronvoyage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
64 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Designed by Committee”
Reviewed November 9, 2013

There are several reasons for visiting the New Zealand legislature, among them is to hear and see something of the legislative process, or the history and architecture of the legislature buildings, or it’s something to do on a rainy day. The one hour (more like 45 minute) tour was a disappointment on a couple of counts which came down to the tour being rushed and not particularly engaging. For example, there is artwork and glass cases containing historical artifacts and gifts from other nations that are noted as you pass by but there is no time allocated to actually stop and view. As the seat of national government I found the legislative buildings themselves to be a bit of a disappointing hodgepodge. The main building is rather plain but has some excellent artifacts and wall decoration honouring New Zealand’s founding peoples, personally I found the information on how the building was earthquake protected quite interesting. The Beehive building, designed in the early 1960‘s and completed in 1979, is in my opinion ugly and does nothing to respect the architecture of the main building whereas the Library Building on the opposite end is much more visually pleasing. Spend and hour (or less) but don’t expect too much, and at least it’s free.

Visited November 2013
Thank SussexGeezer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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