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 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 late 1970s. An innovative timeline in the visitor centre complements this experience.

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.

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We are open every weekend from 12pm to 4pm, with our on-the-hour guided tours from 12pm to 3pm.
Door sales available or book via email:


Adults: $8

Children: $4 (4-16 years)

Bookings are essential for all school groups 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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