Spring Festival in the Gardens

12 September 2011

Come and celebrate the arrival of the warmer months amid the glorious flowers at Wellington's annual Spring Festival.

Giant native flax rugby ball from the 'Kiwiana' innovation garden in the Botanic Garden

Giant native flax rugby ball from the 'Kiwiana' innovation garden in the Botanic Garden

The two-week festival (17 September -
2 October) has plenty for everyone with over 30 events and activities on offer. This year's Spring Festival is a feature of the Festival of Carnivale - part of Rugby World Cup 2011.

It all kicks off with the Otari-Wilton's Bush open day and plant sale on Saturday
17 September where more than 1,000 native plants will be on sale with something to suit every garden. There will also be guided walks, displays and a BBQ.

On Sunday 25 September it's the ever-popular Tulip Sunday at the Botanic Garden - which fittingly coincides with the start of daylight saving. Tulip Sunday celebrates one of the country's biggest and best tulip displays with music, Dutch dancing and food.

This year, in honour of RWC 2011, the Botanic Garden's tulip beds pay tribute to the overseas teams playing in Wellington. The flowers have been planted in designs to represent teams' national flags.

The new 'Kiwiana' innovation garden at the Thorndon entrance also has a rugby theme. A team of our gardeners wove a giant rugby ball out of harakeke (native flax) and the silver fern planted in the lawn is the symbol proudly worn on the All Blacks jersey.

The Council's Natural Portfolio Leader Helene Ritchie, says the Spring Festival is a great opportunity for locals and visitors alike to experience the garden in all its spring splendour.

"As well as thousands of tulips, other spring flowers including magnolias, cherries and rhododendrons will also be blooming. It's a great turn-of-the-season celebration and the festival offers a variety of family-friendly fun activities and entertainment."

This year's festival activities include a Cable Car Museum storytelling and colouring competition, a visit from Zoo critters and their keepers, workshops on growing your own vegetables, botanical art displays, expert guided walks and informative talks.

You can also catch Spring Festival downtown with lunchtime entertainment in Midland Park (weather permitting) including performances by the Ukulele Institute, the New Zealand School of Music Jazz Vocal Ensemble, and the Big Band led by Roger Fox, as well as folk, classical and kapa haka performances.

Top arborists climb to dizzying heights in a spectacular regional tree-climbing competition on Saturday 1 October and the festival wraps up on Sunday 2 October with a concert in the Soundshell featuring the a capella delights of 10dd, ukuleles galore with The Ukulele Institute and the smooth swing of Shaken Not Stirred.

Getting to the festival is easy and you can take a free ride on the Cable Car to the Botanic Garden between 12 noon and 2.00pm by presenting the coupon from the festival brochure.

Most events are free, though some have a small charge, and bookings are required in some cases.

You can also find us on Facebook:

Botanic Gardens of Wellington - Facebook website