At the end of the funicular, lies this wonderful garden. And, lets face it, what could they have done with it? It is too steep to build anything on it. And it even has been landscaped to accommodate for instance the (marvellous) rose garden. Enjoyed this garden at a beautiful summer's day.
One of the world's best botanic gardens, this one offers a stunning array of plants and habitats from New Zealand and Australia. It has miles of beautiful hiking trails. This is a must-see for anyone visiting this city, especially nature lovers. It also contains a number of unique works of public sculpture by New Zealand artists.
The Botanic Gardens is a relaxing place to walk and see a wide variety of domestic and foreign plant species. I would recommend a ride up on the cable car, and then walking back down into the city through the gardens. Admission is free.
If you love nature, you cannot miss a walk in the Botanic Garden. I suggest buying a one-way cable car ticket, and going back downtown by walking through this amazing park. Going downhill is far less tiring! Walking the other way round means climbing the hill, and the road is quite steep!
By the way, wherever your visit starts from, do not forget a map or you are likely either to get lost or to miss something. The free maps available at the parrk entrance will guide you through pre-defined walks of different length.
I found a walk in the Botanic Garden very enjoyable, the park was not busy at all, and the late afternoon sunlight made it even more magical.
I entered at the Founders' Gates in Tinakori Road and walked uphill to the cable car and descended to Lambton Quay. (One way $2-50)
Please do it the other way around unless you want a workout.
I have always enjoyed this place although we always called it the Botanical Gardens and I was surprised to find today what it is really called.
I noticed they have guided tours regularly with some expert discussing herbs or conifers or whatever. Free but a koha (donation) invited.
Kids' playground, great views from the top, cafe, (at least one cafe), and a cable car museum (free entry - gift shop) with one of the really old cars that I used to ride as a kid. Oooooh flashback. Proustian moment.
The paths are smooth and wide and wheelchair and baby vehicle friendly - but do expect steep. This is Wellington.
The cable car is also wheelchair friendly. We had a wheelie tucked in safely on our ride down into the CBD.
Quite a nice and fun feature of the Botanic Garden, next to the Carter Observatory. You just have to stand at a certain spot, depending on the time of year, and hold your arms over your head (the human involvement ;-), and your shadow will allow to read the exact hour on an elliptic scale.
This sundial is a horizontal sundial which uses a series of fixed points located around the circumference of an ellipse. As said, a person is used to produce the shadow by standing on the time of the year marked on a figure of eight located in the centre of the ellipse.
This sundial is accurate to within a few minutes and no corrections have to be made for daylight saving because the bronze indicators on the granite columns are moved twice a year.
This sundial was constructed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Plimmer Family in Wellington.
There are two other sundials in the Botanic Garden: an Armillany Sphere on the Sound Shell Lawn, next to the Founders Entrance on Glenmore Street, and a standard horizontal sundial in the Herb Garden, located above the Lady Norwood Rose Garden.
I am a big fan of Rose Gardens because roses are such rewarding plants, flowering throughout most of the year, from early spring until early winter, and you can walk around and admire the huge array of colours and smell the ever-changing scents. And watch young sparrows bathing in dirt under the plants ;-)
This garden in Wellington's Botanic Garden, opened in 1953, is named after Lady Norwood, the wife of former Mayor Sir Charles Norwood. It is made up of 106 formal beds, each containing a different cultivar. Outside those beds you find collections of patio roses, David Austin roses and a trial area for new cultivars.
If I had to rate the rose gardens I know in New Zealand, however, I would rate Christchurch as number one, due to its magic location. The rose garden there is surrounded by high hedges, and you have access through arches, covered in climbing roses. So it has the feeling of a secret garden, isolated from the outside world. Here in Wellington there is a carpark nearby, and you see the cars moving. Not that it is noisy – just a little minus for the not so perfect atmosphere.
Photo 2 is a nearly aerial view of the rose garden, taken from a higher section of the Botanic Garden.
The easiest way to explore the 25 hectare Botanic Garden is to take the Cable Car to the top entrance and then stroll back down to the city, as it is located on a steep hill between Lambton Quay and the green suburb of Kelburn.
The Garden was established in 1868, and the major conifer species you see today were planted then. The Garden is a mixture of protected native forest, confifer plantings and plant collections. For example, you can walk through an Australian Garden, a Camellia Valley, a Fern Dell, and lots more.
Major additions to the Garden were the Lady Norwood Rose Garden (1950), the Begonia House (1960) and the Treehouse Visitor Centre (1991). Whereas in Christchurch, for example, the daffodils convert the Botanic Garden into a sea of yellow blossoms in early spring, and rhododendrons and azalea do their magic in Dunedin, Wellington’s pride are the 30,000 flowering tulips in spring.
At the Begonia House you also find a shop and Garden café. The Visitor Centre includes an office of Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), a shop, a classroom and an exhibition area.
An interesting part of the Garden is the Bolton Street Memorial Park which is an old cemetery, bisected by a motorway.
Also the National Observatory of New Zealand, the Carter Observatory, is located in the Botanic Garden. When we were there, it was closed due to renovation.
Access to the Botanic Garden – other than by Cable Car – is as follows:
Bus to Karori (# 3), from, Lambton Quay, stop at Founders Entrance.
Walk from the Terrace through Bolton St Memorial Park – it takes about 15 min to the Rose Garden and a further 5 min to the main garden.
By car to the only public carpark next to the Rose Garden, access through Centennial Entrance, from the city centre towards Karori on Bowen St/Tinakori Rd/Glenmore St.
My mobility disadvantaged mother was a little worried when I suggested a stroll in the Lady Norwood Rose Garden and Begonia House so I nipped across the road and checked out availability of toilets, smoothness of paths etc. Check check check. Great.
PLUS - two free mobility devices!
I did laugh. I was going to talk her onto one of them - This is your future! - but when we got over there they were both taken. (Seems you have to ring up and book them.) And a son was trying to suggest to his mother that foot off the accelerator and a tiny bit of steering might help!
Ring - 499 4444.
Oh I do love the Botanic Garden. I always have. We often went there when I was a kid and always arrived via the cable car. And roamed around, feral as.
But now I am living across the road from them and my slightly mobility disadvantaged mother was visiting so I took her to the rose garden and begonia house. Because they are designed to be enjoyed by the mobility disadvantaged. (More of that in the next tip.) The begonias amazed, as always (it is slightly too late for the roses to be seen at their best) and then I found out there is another section (I don't remember this as a kid) with a water lily pond. That was even warmer than the begonia house. I suggested to my mother (as there were benches dotted around) that a homeless person when the Wellington winter was doing its worst might do a lot worse than spend her days on a bench contemplating the water lily pond.
A great bad weather choice.
And there is a cafe attached.
And a shop. In which I found a delightful tui pin for $6-50. One of a range of NZ birds but I had to have the tui because I had just seen a tui in a pohutakawa tree right opposite our Parliament House (The Beehive) in the centre of the city.
My aunt tells me that is because of the great initiative the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary has undertaken. (More of that in another tip.)
Oh - also toilets with Disability Toilets emphasised.
Everything that opens and shuts as it were.
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