News | 14 December 2022
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Re-shaping the Botanic Garden's play area

The beloved Wellington Botanic Garden ki Paekākā play area that opened in 1904 is due for an upgrade as part of our play spaces policy.

Render of the Botanic Gardens.
Proposed design of the Wellington Botanic Garden ki Paekākā play area.

In August 2022, we asked Wellingtonians how they experience the play area, and how they thought we could make it better for visitors. We also engaged with local schools and their whānau in the Botanic Garden’s area, to hear the opinion of tamariki first hand.

The survey’s 831 responses, as well as the high-quality feedback and drawings gathered from the school activities, were used to inspire and shape the play area’s new design. We found that children wanted more challenging versions of the current play area’s set up, including the flying fox, the slides and the space to run.

Also commonly noted was the importance of playing in trees and the natural surroundings, as well as the desire for suitable equipment for all ages. 

Drawings from children of the gardens.
Drawings from Clifton Terrace Model School about what they want to see at the new play area.

From this feedback, we created a concept design with a modern dual flying fox, a large climbable tower, three long slides and an all-ages swing set. We also added sensory play equipment, in addition to popular play pieces - a trampoline, monkey bars, carousel, springers and swings.

The proposed theme of the updated play area is flora, to celebrate the Botanic Garden, and the bees which pollinate it.

Slides at the gardens.
The current Wellington Botanic Garden play area site.

The hill space, below the current play area will also be undergoing a change, with māra hūpara inspired designs to encourage nature play. We aim to use natural materials to create a playful journey which extends the current playground area. We will be working with mana whenua to further develop these ideas.

We're renewing this play area to give tamariki the time, space, and permission to play for many generations to come, and we want to get it right! That’s why we want to hear your thoughts and feedback on the proposed design. You can see the proposed concept plan in action in the 3D rendered video , and have your say on our consultation page by 5pm, 20 January 2023.