Nairn Street Cottage 


Following direction from Mayor Andy Foster, Nairn Street Cottage is now closed until further notice. We understand this may be disappointing but to contain the spread of Covid-19 this is the best action to take. We will continue to monitor advice from the Wellington City Council and Ministry of Health.   

We’re working on alternative and innovative ways to present our creative experiences to you and we’ll share any updates or changes on our website here and social media channels.    

Kia kaha, kia māia, kia manawanui. Be strong, be brave, be steadfast.


Beautifully presented and rich with history, Nairn Street Cottage was built in 1858 by William Wallis and is one of the oldest surviving homes in Wellington.


As you walk through the house, you will journey through time and uncover fresh new stories as told through three generations of Wallis’ who lived there: Catherine, William, Clara and Winifred. You’ll discover the societal and technological changes they experienced as you move from room to room, starting from 1857 through to the late1970s. An innovative timeline in the visitor centre complements this experience.

Take a tour of the cottage with an expert guide.

Credit: Callum Devlin
Credit: Callum Devlin

Heritage Garden

At the back of the cottage you’ll find an authentically presented heritage garden that embraces the seasons of change. With native plants and vegetables that were used to keep the Wallis family well-nourished and in good health, it appears simple, but its informal style was both attractive and functional at the same time. Complete with a chicken coop appropriately called ‘The Fowl House’, it’s a perfect example of how colonial life in New Zealand relied on the garden as the main source of food, as well as for medicinal purposes. 

Classified by Heritage New Zealand as having ‘outstanding significance’, Nairn Street Cottage is an excellent example of how the first colonials blended their lives in their Victorian homeland with the surrounds of a new country.

This beautiful cottage with its heritage garden is open for tours on weekends during winter and every day during summer months. Visitors can reminisce or show the next generation how life has changed – this is a beautiful way to spend an afternoon on the fringe of the city.

Birthday Parties
Support Us
Primary Education Programmes

See our Nairn Street Cottage events, courses and more.


The decision has been made to close Nairn Street Cottage until further notice.

Summer Schedule: Open daily, 12pm-4pm, with tours at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. The last day for summer hours is the 31st of March.

Winter Schedule: Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm-4pm with tours at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm.

Entry by tours only.


Adults: $8

Children: $4 (4-16 years)

Bookings are essential for all schools and tour groups.


68 Nairn Street, Mount Cook

The Museum is located at 68 Nairn Street, at the top of Willis Street.

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