Taking that photo outside the Beehive is a given if you are travelling to Wellington, but next time spare an hour to go on a tour inside Parliament. You can’t take photos (no camera’s allowed) but it is an awesome experience – especially if you have a budding Prime Minister in your midst.
The thing I loved about the Parliament tours is that everyone got something different out of them.
For me it was the stunning architecture – not the green and wood that you see on the news when the politicians debate but when you look up to the ceiling and see all the ornate scribing, the duck egg blue trim and the stained glass domes that let light cascade in.
For James it was the marble and the quality workmanship in all of the wooden finishes.
For our almost 10 year old, the possibility was inspiring. She walked at the front of the group the entire time and asked our incredibly knowledgable guide endless questions. Her eyes shone as she looked at where the politicians sat and plotted her may to the head chair one day. She sat up straighter when we went to the select committee group and our guide told us that anyone, even children, could make a submission. As we left our guide said “we may see you working here one day” and she was absolutely beaming.
Our 8 year old liked it but our 7 year old gave up half way through and trudged her way though. They do have children’s tours however which may be a better option for little children.
Tours leave on the hour and most importantly are FREE!
The lawns outside are great to stroll through or take a few photos and there are some great restaurants around to grab a quick bite afterwards – including our favourite – The Thistle Inn
You will find the Parliament buildings in Molesworth Street in Wellington and there is a link to more information about the tours here.