About Whirinaki Whare Taonga
Whirinaki Whare Taonga is a vibrant arts centre where you can to enjoy art, culture, history and entertainment. Five fabulous galleries have a constantly changing programme of exhibitions ranging from the very best New Zealand and international art, to local arts and craft and historical exhibitions, with a special focus on interactive experiences and family friendly activities. It’s the hub for audience engagement and participation in the arts for Upper Hutt with a varied programme of special events, workshops for children, artist talks, and education classes for schools and community activities which vary throughout year.
Upstairs in the theatre the spotlight is on live theatre, comedy, film, dance and music with a dynamic programme ranging from circus acts to classical music, multicultural concerts to ballet showcases and international film. Classical Expressions is a signature programme featuring top Chamber music performances throughout the year, there is also a free once-a-month lunch time concert by students from the NZ School of Music and on the first Sunday of the month ‘Sunday Strum’ welcomes ukulele players to a free ‘strum along’ in the foyer.
The huge Recreation Hall offers a wide range of sporting and cultural events and is also available for hire at competitive prices. Whether you’re holding a conference, a public meeting, hosting a business dinner, getting married or having a ball, Whirinaki can meet your needs. Finish your visit with a stop at Dough Bakery, our on-site modern take on a bakery serving 'all things dough'. With an all-day menu and a sophisticated environment, enjoy dining-in over a 'toastie' or bagel, or grab a fresh juice or Coffee Supreme coffee.
With its spacious galleries theatre, and a huge recreation hall, the Centre is adaptable for any event, our exquisitely modern building is a spectacular venue for a memorable daytime or evening event. Whirinaki Whare Taonga is situated in the heart of the Upper Hutt’s Civic and Cultural Precinct, right next door to H20 Xtream and beside the Council Buildings/library. We are Just 30 minutes from Wellington at 836 Fergusson Drive, Upper Hutt and are just a five minute walk from the railway station and on the main bus route. There is a public carpark behind the centre, with space for up to 180 vehicles.
Top tips for viewing art
Contemporary art is best viewed with an open mind
Take your time
Look and look again, wander around
Don't worry if it's 'good' or 'bad' - see if anything 'speaks' to you or reminds you of anything in your life
Please do not touch
Many artworks prefer just to be looked at
Want to know more
Talk to the reception team, read the label or look on our website (we have free wifi) to find out more about the artworks