Children's Garden 2016

Wellington Botanic Garden is creating a world-class hands-on Children’s Garden where children and families can learn about plants and their importance to our lives and environment.

We are building the Children’s Garden on a 1500m2 hill-top site with fantastic views near the Treehouse visitor centre and our plant nursery.

Donate now to help us build a magical, memorable place for children and their families.


Why we need a Children’s Garden

Children doing gardening.

We get our food and many of our medicines, fabrics and fuels from plants. But so many of us live in cities that children have fewer opportunities to connect with plants and understand the natural world.

With natural resources getting scarce and the other environmental challenges we face, learning about horticulture, sustainability and the vital role plants play in our lives is critical for future generations.

We'll collect rainwater to irrigate the garden, show how plants can be used to make water cleaner, have worm farms, and make compost.

This is a unique opportunity to get children involved and foster environmental and botanical awareness in future generations - a role botanic gardens across the world take very seriously.

With 1.2 million visits a year, the Botanic Garden is already one of Wellington’s most popular visitor destinations. We look forward to the Children’s Garden attracting many more local, national and international visitors.

Girl holding worms.

A living outdoor classroom

While the Botanic Garden, schools and other city facilities provide some opportunities for environmental and plant education, Wellington lacks a children’s learning space dedicated to plants.

We are creating a living outdoor classroom - with a wetland, terraced gardens and orchard - where children from around the region can have fun while learning to connect with plants. It will be aimed at 8 to 12 year-olds and tie in with the school curriculum, but the garden will also have plenty of appeal for younger children and adults.

The Children’s Garden will be open to the public and we'll have a full-time educator to cater for school and community groups. There will be lots of hands-on learning opportunities, and the chance to see renewable wind and solar energy in action.

Children doing gardening.

Children will:

  • learn traditional plant skills and uses
  • see kumara beds and storage pits
  • find out about the medicinal properties of native plants
  • work with traditional plants important to other cultures.

The garden will have a strong focus on food - including fruit and vegetables and water crops like rice and taro. Herbs and spices chosen in consultation with Wellington’s migrant communities will be grown too.

There will also be plants used for clothing, building and fuel, and hands-on areas including a ‘dig and discover garden’ and a clear earth-filled wall showing the root system of a tree.

The garden will be open by February 2016.

How you can help

To help the Friends of the Wellington Botanic Garden grow the Children’s Garden, contact us using the details below.

You can also make a donation at the Treehouse Visitor Centre.

More information

Location map.



Treehouse Visitor Centre, Wellington Botanic Garden

Phone (04) 499 1400
Fax (04) 499 1903
Monday – Friday 9am – 4pm
Weekends November - April: 10am - 3pm
Weekends May - October and public holidays: Closed