Old St Paul's

Be embraced by the beauty of this gorgeous wooden cathedral – still sacred, welcoming to all, in the heart of Wellington’s heritage precinct.

Breathtakingly beautiful – Wellington’s famous Old St Paul’s, constructed entirely of native timbers, is one of New Zealand’s greatest heritage places.  

Experience the wonderful and sometimes quirky stories of this former cathedral church, its historic location and its people.  

Gaze at Old St Paul’s unique colonial architecture, admire its exquisite embroidered furnishings and be awed by the colours of its beautiful stained glass windows.  It is a magnificent example of timber Gothic Revival architecture.

The site where Old St Paul’s stands was formerly part of Pipitea Pa.  For almost 100 years, Old St Paul’s served as the parish church of Thorndon and the Anglican Cathedral of Wellington.  

A new larger cathedral was built in the 1960s throwing doubt on the future of Old St Paul’s. The church was saved, restored and reopened to the public, remaining a consecrated church. 

 It remains a place of spiritual significance to many and also has become a popular venue for a wide variety of cultural events.

Reasons to visit

  • A unique church built entirely of native timber
  • With its soaring wooden arches and glowing interior, it is a treasured venue for cultural events
  • Features stained glass, wooden carvings and beautiful furnishings
  • One of the best examples of Gothic Revival architecture in the world
  • US marines stationed in Wellington during World War II found this a place of peace, calm and community
  • The interactive exhibition Read This Building allows you to read this heritage place like a book - with stories told not in words, but wood, brass and glass. 
  • It's a tranquil sanctuary in the heart of a bustling city.
Soaring wooden arches and glowing interior... a much treasured venue for cultural events.
  • Exterior of Old St Pauls

    Breathtakingly beautiful, Old St Paul's has been a warm, wonderful and welcoming place since 1866. Image: Grant Sheehan

  • Good Samaritan window

    This window depicts scenes from the story of the Good Samaritan.

  • Visitors at Old St Paul's

    Learning about the furnishings and the part they play in the church's seasons. Image: Grant Sheehan

  • Looking at the exhibition

    Fascination with the Reading This Building exhibition.  This bible has its own unusual story to tell!

  • Pulpit

    The carved wooden pulpit is studded with several apostles. Image: Grant Sheehan

  • Angel window

    The Angel window, as it's known, is often a favourite with visitors.

  • Christening font

    The stone baptismal font stands proudly near the rear of the church. Image: Grant Sheehan

  • Students

    The gorgeous church fascinates even our younger guests. Image: Heritage Connection Te Unga Mai


  • 34 Mulgrave Street
  • Thorndon
  • Wellington
  • 6011

Contact Information

Opening Hours

  • Daily
  • 9.30am - 5pm
  • Closed Christmas Day, Good Friday and for short periods during private functions


Entry is by donation. Guided tours of Old St Paul's: $7.50 per person (please book ahead). Please understand that surcharges may apply at times of special events.