National Library of New Zealand

Weather :

Timings : Monday-Friday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Saturdays: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Time Required : 2-3 Hours

Entry Fee : Free

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National Library of New Zealand, Wellington Overview

Originally established in 1965, the National Library of New Zealand, also known as Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, is one of the important national institutions as it is the legal deposit library of the country and is also an educationally significant institution owing to its services to schools business units with which they connect with and impart data to the various schools in New Zealand.

Tourists are more than often attracted to the venue because of the many tours they hold and the open access provided by the Library to the enriching works and collections stored in the Library. Visitors most frequent the famous He Tohu exhibition in the National Library as it holds three essential national documents, namely Te Tiriti o Waitangi, which is the Treaty of Waitangi, He Whakaputanga, which is the Declaration of the Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand and Te Petihana Whakamana Poti Wahine which is the Women’s Suffrage Petition.

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Cost and Entry Timings

  • The National Library headquarters in Wellington remains open from Monday to Saturday and stays closed on all public holidays.
  • The Reading Rooms timings:- 
    10:00 AM to 5:00 PM - Mondays through Fridays 
    9:00 AM to 1:00 PM - Saturdays.
  • Te Ahumairangi remains open to visitors from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM - Mondays through Fridays
    9:00 AM to 1:00 PM - Saturdays.

Reading Rooms

  • The Reading Rooms are located on the first level of the library are remain open to the public from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Mondays through Fridays and from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Saturdays.
  • The rooms are well equipped with proper lighting and study desks along with computers with internet access. The staff is also present at all times to make the space as comfortable as possible.
  • The General Reading Room provides access to the National Collection, whereas the Alexander Turnbull Library collections can be accessed in the Katherine Mansfield Reading Room.
  • Bags, coats, edibles and drinks are strictly prohibited in the Katherine Mansfield Reading Room as the collection is exclusive to the Library.
  • Additionally, fragile works and large format data can be accessed in the Heaphy Room which is located on the second level.


  • Te Ahumairangi: The lowest level of the National Library is named after the sacred mountain of Mana Whenua in Wellington, and this is where the visitors are given informative talks on the history and story of Te Ahumairangi, the various spaces, programmes and services that are provided at the National Library and also how to access the Library’s digital collections which include many noteworthy pieces.

    These tours run from Monday through Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and last for about 45 minutes each. No bookings are necessary for individuals or small sizes of groups but bookings are available for groups with a maximum limit of 15 people.

  • Introduction to Research: The tours take place at 11:15 a.m. from Mondays to Saturdays for a maximum amount of 10 people in one group, and the duration of the tour can be tailored to suit the needs of the visitors.

    Visitors are given informative guides about the research facilities that are available on level one and on how to locate and access material from the Alexander Turnbull Library and the National Collections. The group is also taken to see the latest exhibition at the Turnbull Gallery and is given access to the reading rooms.
  • Specialist Tour: The Specialist Tours can be designed according to the specific fields of interest and/or research that are preferred by the visitors. The tours run for 45 minutes each and can accommodate groups of a maximum amount of 20 people.

    Visitors are made to speak to subject specialists and collection curators working in the particular field and are shown around to see the exclusive works related to the same.

  • Schools Tour: The tours are specially designed for school students and run for an hour and a half each and are quite flexible as they can be tailored to work around preferred fields of interest. Students are made to engage with exhibitions related to their curriculum and are shown around the National Library while being briefed on the significance of the structure, the important collections stored and the technology used to manage the same.

    Along with the aforementioned, the students are given informative talks on the history of Te Ahumairangi and the relation it has with the first Maori and European settlers of Wellington.

How To Reach National Library of New Zealand

  • The National Library of New Zealand is located on Molesworth Street, Thordon in Wellington. Visitors can reach the venue by both public and private means of transportation.
  • The closest bus and coach stop to the museum lies on the Aitken Street, where passengers can be dropped off and picked up by both tour coaches and school buses.
  • There is accessible parking available on Molesworth Street between the Rugby House and the Library building but visitors are not permitted to book this space beforehand.

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