TARDIS lands on Wellington runway

1 May 2024


A journey through time and space ended at Wellington Airport this morning when an iconic British blue police box touched down on the runway shortly after 1am.

Otherwise known as the TARDIS – an acronym of Time and Relative Dimension in Space - it is the means by which Doctor Who explores the universe.

Famously bigger on the inside, the TARDIS arrived in Wellington for the Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder: Where Science Meets Fiction | Doctor Who Ngā Ao Mīharo: Te tūtakitanga o te Pūtaiao ki te Pakimaero’ exhibition opening at Tākina, Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre on June 1.

Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau says the chance to explore such an iconic show is too good to miss.

“Tickets for this incredible, other worldly exhibition are now on sale. It’s time to get ready to travel through time and space and explore the universe of Doctor Who and the science that has played such a crucial role in the show’s history.

“I know Wellingtonians and visitors alike are going to love this exhibition and we can’t wait to welcome people to another great event at Tākina.”

Fans of the hit television series Doctor Who will have the opportunity to come face to face with the show’s iconic characters, share the Doctor’s adventures and explore some of the worlds visited on screen. This is the first time the exhibition has left UK shores.

Doctor Who first aired on the BBC in 1963 and has millions of fans across the globe. It follows the adventures of a Time Lord known as the Doctor and is the world’s longest-running sci-fi series.

Since the beginning of the show, science has been prominent in the development of key stories and characters. This exhibition enables visitors to explore scientific themes such as whether time travel is actually possible, and why the TARDIS is bigger on the inside.

Part of the exhibition is the Monster Vault where visitors will come face to face with many of the Doctor’s alien adversaries and learn about their connections with real science. Created in collaboration with BBC Studios, scientific themes such as artificial intelligence, DNA manipulation and cloning – all of which have featured in Doctor Who episodes – are explored and explained.

WellingtonNZ Events and Experiences general manager Heidi Morton says “Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder offers another dimension to the packed Wellington winter calendar that includes Visa Wellington On a Plate, World of WearableArt and two All Blacks tests.

With the latest series of Doctor Who screening on Disney+ from May 11, the exhibition is on at a perfect time.”

Wellington Airport Head of Operations Matthew Palliser said “while it was an out of the ordinary landing for the runway, there was no disruption to aircrafts using more conventional means of flight. Fortunately the TARDIS landed before our first flight of the day and didn’t require baggage handlers or refuelling.”

Mr Palliser said the TARDIS is now on display in the airport’s concourse.

Tickets to the exhibition can be purchased online, in person from the Wellington iSite or your local Ticketmaster agency, and at the Tākina Box-Office from 1 June.

Ticket prices start from $15.90 for children, $29.90 for adults, with under 5s going free.

There are also a limited number of tickets available to celebrate like a Time Lord at the Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder Preview Party: A Time-Travelling Soirée to be held on Wednesday evening, 29 May. This adults-only event is $74 per ticket.

The exhibition is a partnership between Wellington City Council and Sarner International, delivered by WellingtonNZ. It is produced by Sarner International under license from BBC Studios.

The new season of Doctor Who premieres Saturday 11 May on Disney+.