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The Beehive, NZ parliament attractions and things to do

Wellington, North Island

Take a one-hour guided tour of the Parliament Buildings to see New Zealand politics at work and to explore the Beehive – one of the most famous buildings in Wellington. The contrast between the elaborate, ornate carved woodwork of the nineteenth century against a 1970’s building is stark. For visitors who are interested in heritage buildings this is a must do Wellington activity. Remember to peek across the road at the glorious wooden University of Wellington Law School. An elaborate confection of nineteenth century architecture.

Tours depart on the hour from the Beehive foyer from 10.00am to 4.00pm.

No admission fee.

For more information about buildings and self-guided tours check out Public sculptures Lambton Quay – Best Bits.

The Beehive, New Zealand's Parliament building, at twilight, Wellington, New Zealand
The Beehive, New Zealand's Parliament building


  • Beehive is 72 metres tall, 10 floors above ground
  • Beehive has 4 floors below ground level
  • Beehive has an underground walkway connecting to Bowen House, which was the temporary home for Parliament during the 1990s’ renovations.
  • Bowen House is a 22 storey office building, very functional and where the worker bees are located.
  • Tour departures and queries are located in the entrance foyer.point for the Beehive’s daily public tours.
  • One of the Beehive’s basement floors is the headquarters of the National Crisis Management Centre.
  • The Beehive Banquet Hall is on the 1st floor.
  • Beehive’s brown roof is 20 tonnes of hand welted and seamed copper.
  • Beehive is extensively decorated with Aotearoa New Zealand artworks and installations which is available to view on selected public tours
  • Beehive Public Gallery is open to the public when the House is sitting. If you want to watch politicians debate, join the queue.
Executive Wing of the New Zealand Parliament Buildings located at the corner of Molesworth Street and Lambton Quay Wellington
Executive Wing of the New Zealand Parliament Buildings located at the corner of Molesworth Street and Lambton Quay Wellington
Art Tours, The Beehive
Art Tours, The Beehive


The Beehive has over 4,500 pieces. In addition to dedicated Art Tours that give a focussed insight to the art and historical items around the precinct, Parliament has two dedicated exhibition spaces that feature a rotating showcase of work from New Zealand artists. There are also online exhibitions that highlight items from the Parliamentary Collection.Public and private art tours are available to book. Learn about the art and historical items on precinct, directly from the Curatorial team. To find out more check Art Tours – New Zealand Parliament.

  • View Select Committee rooms
  • Speakers Lounge
  • Art works not currently in public spaces

These tours must be booked in advance due to limited spaces.  The tours are 90 minutes long and start from the Executive Wing Visitor Centre. A wide variety of New Zealand art, from historic through to contemporary, will be seen along the way. These specialist art tours are in addition to the free, daily, one-hour guided tours of Parliament which begin on the hour at the Visitor Centre. Take a tour with one of our trained guides to visit key parts of Parliament’s buildings and learn

How do I book a tour?

Group sizes for all art tours are limited, and bookings are essential. Bookings can be made by emailing or by telephoning us on +64 4 817 9503.


British architect Sir Basil Spence is the architect for the distinctive building opened in 1981.

Executive Wing of the New Zealand Parliament Buildings located at the corner of Molesworth Street and Lambton Quay, Wellington, New Zealand
New Zealand Parliament Buildings
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