The Main Garden contains several major plant collections and seasonal beds. It is at its best in spring when there is a blazing mass of 25,000 tulips, and in summer.
The Main Garden begins just inside the Founders' Entrance gates on Glenmore Street and includes the duck pond. There are several walking tracks - many forming circuits - stemming from the Main Garden.
Begonia House contains tropical and temperate displays, including seasonal displays of orchids, tuberous begonias, cyclamen, ornamentals, and others. The tropical end also features a lily pond containing aquatic plants and a giant water lily.
Botanic Garden shop
The shop is in the Begonia House. It has a wide range of New Zealand gifts and crafts, practical garden products, accessories, books, cards and hand-made jewellery.
|September - April:
||9am - 5pm
|May - August:
||10am - 3pm
(Closed New Year's Day and 2 January, Good Friday, Easter Monday until 1pm, and Christmas Day and Boxing Day)
There are several self-guided walks in the Garden, including the Solander Trail, Waipiro and Pukatea bush walks and the Sensation Walk.
Brochures for the Solander Trail and Sensation Walk (in print and Braille) are available from the Treehouse Visitor Centre; the bush walks are marked on the Botanic Garden brochure map - follow the green arrows.
Sensation Walk Expanded Directions for the Blind (32KB PDF) | Text version (9KB RTF)
Lady Norwood Rose Garden
This award-winning garden has 110 formal beds, each representing a different variety of rose. It includes newly released roses and traditional favourites. The design is geometric with colonnades on three sides, creating a striking contrast to the backdrop of bush and sloping lawns.
Picnic café is in the Lady Norwood Rose Garden.
Refreshments, snacks and meals are also available at the Kelburn Kiosk at the top of the Cable Car - phone (04) 475 8727, or at the restaurants and cafés in nearby Tinakori Road.
Children's play area
Minutes from the Treehouse Visitor Centre, the children’s play area is a favourite with generations of Wellingtonians. It is particularly popular with families and school groups.
There are double slides, a rocktopus, flying fox and more. There are also picnic tables, toilets and an enclosed play area for small children.
The fenced-off pond, with seating, is in the Main Garden.
There are glow-worms in the Main Garden, from the Duck Pond up to Glen Road alongside Pukatea Stream.
They can only be seen at night; the best time to spot them is in spring, after rain.
Guided glow-worm tours are available at various times throughout the year. Check the events calendar for details.
There are many sculptures and carvings in the gardens. Artists featured include Henry Moore, Andrew Drummond and Chris Booth.
There are also several unique fountains and sundials gifted from other countries.
The Peace Garden's flame comes from fire created by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War II.
The flame was presented by the people of Japan to New Zealand in recognition of our efforts to halt the spread of atomic weapons.
This popular fountain is located in the Main Garden along William Bramley Drive, near the Glenmore Street entrance.
The Carter Observatory has astronomy displays which provide a window into the night sky.
There is also a planetarium, shop and audiovisual displays.