Go on a free guided tour of the seat of New Zealand’s power, the beehive-shaped building that houses the New Zealand Parliament's Executive wing.

Walk through the corridors of power and learn how laws are made with a visit to the Beehive. This government building is so called because its domed shape resembles a natural beehive.

The 236 feet (72 meter) high structure has ten floors above ground and four below and is the Executive Wing of New Zealand’s Parliament. It contains the offices of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers and the National Crisis Management Centre.

See how the government functions with a free hour-long guided tour of three of the four buildings that make up the parliamentary complex. It starts in the Beehive Visitor Centre and from there you’ll be taken up the open marble staircase to the Banquet Hall on the first floor. This large semi-circular space hosts state banquets for up to 300 people. Admire the elaborate décor including the large mural by John Boys Drawbridge, a famous Wellington-born painter. No other parts of the Beehive are open to the public.

The tour also takes you to the Parliamentary Library and the Chamber of Parliament House where politicians debate bills and discuss parliamentary business. When the tour has concluded come back and watch proceedings from the public galleries. If Parliament is not in session the tour takes you on the floor of the chamber.

Public tours start on the hour and you do not need to book. You are advised to turn up at least 15 minutes before a tour starts. Tours are not held on public holidays; check the New Zealand Parliament website for a schedule of times and dates.

The Beehive and the parliamentary complex are easily accessible by public and private transport. There is no car parking on parliamentary grounds but there are pay car parks in surrounding streets. Wellington railway station is only a five-minute walk away and a Stagecoach City Circular bus stop is close to the lower gates of the parliamentary grounds.