Top museums: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

To celebrate some of the most incredible museums in the world, we're rounding up the winners of the TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice awards for 2015.

At number 25: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa, is renowned for being bicultural, scholarly, innovative, and fun. The Māori name, 'Te Papa Tongarewa', literally means ‘container of treasures'. The name is made up of two classical expressions: Papa and Tongarewa, used in Māori poetry and song. Each expression has more than one meaning, therefore a fuller interpretation of the name Te Papa Tongarewa is: ‘our container of treasured things and people that spring from Mother Earth here in New Zealand’.

Te Papa is a landmark building in the heart of Wellington, with spectacular views of the harbour. The Museum is open 365 days a year from 10am to 6pm, with late night openings until 9pm every Thursday. The entry is free, but charges apply to some short-term exhibitions and activities.

With helpful Hosts, free Wi-Fi hotspots, support for people with disabilities, parents' rooms, and research rooms, Te Papa looks after you well. When you need a break, have a lunch, coffee and cake, or a glass of wine in one of their two cafes. And before you go, don’t forget to visit one of the museum’s shops. Te Papa Stores feature works from New Zealand's finest artists and authors and offer educational and fun gifts for kids.

Te Papa’s collections span five areas: Art, History, Pacific, Māori, and Natural Environment. A range of engaging and informative tours and audio guides in various languages are available to inform and entertain you whilst you discover the Museum.

Exhibition highlights range from the story of Māori, the first settlers of Aotearoa New Zealand, to the hundreds of artworks from the national art collection.

Tivaevae manu (applique quilt) and pillow cases, circa 1990, Cook Islands. Maker unknown. Purchased 1995 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa.

See the heaviest colossal squid ever caught and the only complete one on display in the world. Discover the powerful geological forces that shape New Zealand’s landscape. From kiwi to kauri, explore the variety of New Zealand’s animals and plants.

If you want to explore their collections right now, Collections Online has information on over 500,000 artworks, objects and specimens from Te Papa’s collections, from dinosaur teeth to contemporary art, as well as information on people, places, topics, species, and research from the curators.

See more: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.