Nairn Street Cottage 

Beautifully presented and rich with history, Nairn Street Cottage was built in 1858 by William Wallis and is one of the oldest homes in Wellington. Supporting the cottage is an exhibition that goes back in time and uncovers stories of the original Wallis family and their descendants. This experience provides a snapshot of lives in Aotearoa over the years.


As you walk through the house, you’ll get to listen and uncover fresh new stories of the Cottage from different generations of the Wallis family: Catherine, William, Clara and Winifred. You’ll also experience the societal and technological changes over time as you move from room to room, starting from 1857 through to the late 1970s. Offering insights into their daily lives, the tour is a fascinating account of how life was lived over the years in one of Wellington’s oldest colonial house.

Admission a tour of the cottage with an expert guide and can enjoy an exhibition detailing the history and effects on society next door.

Credit: Callum Devlin
Credit: Callum Devlin

Heritage Garden

At the back of the cottage you’ll find an authentically presented heritage garden. 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 it’s heritage garden is open for tours on weekends during winter and every day during summer months. Where the visitors are looking to reminisce or show the next generation how life changed for them, this is a beautiful way to spend an afternoon in the fringes of the city.

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

Next Event at the Cottage: Is an e-bike kit an answer to your transport needs?


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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