Images (from top): The Laurel Harris Room; The 'I Spy' activity for children; 'Early Morning, Thorndon' by Rita Angus. Courtesy of the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū
Plan Your Visit
On arrival you'll be welcomed by one of our hosts and given a short illustrated Visitor Guide which provides background information on Katherine Mansfield and the house and garden. Unless you have booked a guided tour in advance, your visit will be self-guided. Our host will give a short introduction to the house and will be available to answer any questions during your visit or assist with any needs. If you have accessibility requirements, you can find more information here.
For children we have an 'I Spy' activity that encourages them to explore the house and learn about life 100 years ago. It is suitable for ages 3+ (with the assistance of an adult for children who are not yet confident readers). For children aged 10+, we have an activity sheet with a range of more advanced activities.
Each room contains an A3 interpretation panel explaining the original function of the room, with quotes from Mansfield's writing to illustrate daily life.
Upstairs, the Laurel Harris Room has an extensive timeline of Mansfield's life with photographs and a reading corner where you're invited to sit and explore Mansfield's published work. We also have a changing exhibition space. Details of our current exhibition can be found on our 'What's On' page.
We recommend allowing approximately 45 minutes for your visit, but if you're pressed for time you can still enjoy your visit within 30 minutes. If you don't have time to read the comprehensive timeline of Mansfield's life in the Laurel Harris Room, it is available for purchase in our giftshop.
Toilets, Food and Drink
A toilet is available on-site, but as this is a modestly sized historic house it is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible.
You are welcome to bring food and drink to enjoy in the garden, there is seating available and we have picnic rugs we are happy to provide. However, we do not have a café onsite and food and drink (other than water in bottles) cannot be taken into the house. There are some great cafés nearby, such as Le Marché Français on Thorndon Quay and Mojo on the corner of Molesworth and Murphy Streets. Or you can head to Thorndon Village to cafés such as Leafee (320 Tinakori Road) or Goods.
Or, to continue your heritage exploration, you could have lunch or a drink at the historic Thistle Inn which has been operating since 1840 and is the setting for Katherine Mansfield's stories 'Leves Amores'. The Thistle Inn is an easy 15-minute walk from Katherine Mansfield House & Garden, passing Old St Paul's - another historic site with a connection to Mansfield and her family. Mansfield's parents were married at Old St Paul's and Mansfield attended services there with her family and her school.
Just around the corner from Katherine Mansfield House & Garden is Katherine Mansfield Memorial Park, which has a playground. It is found on the corner of Hobson Street and Fitzherbert Terrace. To learn more about it and see photos of the park today, you can read this blog post.
New Zealand’s oldest suburb and the site of some of Wellington’s fascinating history, Thorndon is a beautiful area to explore. Take a tour of New Zealand Parliament; find out how New Zealand women were the first in the world to achieve the right to vote at the National Library’s stunning exhibition He Tohu; wonder at the beauty of Old St Paul's, a gorgeous Gothic Revival wooden cathedral; and stroll around the Wellington Botanic Garden.