Wellington Botanic Garden is celebrating 150 years of plants, animals, people and events throughout 2019. A long-time favourite Wellington destination for locals and international visitors, the garden is embedded in their hearts with its playground enjoyed by generations of visitors, the fabulous floral displays, feeding the ducks and all within a towering tree framework.
The history of the garden and its land dates back well beyond 1869. When Europeans arrived, there were well established Pa’s at Pipitea and Kumutoto. Te Ātiawa from the Pipitea Pa used the Botanic Garden for ngākinga (cultivated gardens), collecting native plants for construction, food, fibre and medicine and birds for food. They used extensive areas of the garden, and nearby Te Ahu Mairangi, firstly for their own use and then for trading until they were displaced from their Pa in the mid-1800s. The garden was then entrusted to the New Zealand Institute, the forerunner of the Royal Society of New Zealand, in an Act of Parliament in 1869.
Throughout 2019 we will be taking the opportunity to look back on the Botanic Garden’s history, the connections families have made with it, its scientific role and its future. Key events include; a picnic that allows you to Step back in time on 3 February, the Secrets of the Garden Bioblitz on 5 through to 6 April, Science Sunday on 21 July and a celebration on 3 September, when the Botanic Garden Bill was enacted in 1869 and administration entrusted onto the New Zealand Institute – the predecessor of the Royal Society of New Zealand. The year’s programme finishes up in November with High Tea in the Roses.
Join us in celebrating our 150th anniversary with special events for everyone in the family throughout 2019.
Gather your family, pack a picnic and join us to step back in time to celebrate 150 years of the Wellington Botanic Garden. Enjoy free Victorian-inspired activities and entertainment, just like the early days of the Botanic Garden!
Victorian Picnic is a jamboree of fun: Delight in Shakespeare, puppet shows, singing, dancing, string quartets, magical circus acts and olde-timey games. Whether it’s reflecting on the words of Katherine Mansfield, joining Sir Julius on a hunt for a Snark, meeting Friends of the Garden or patting a pony – There is something for every family member.
While you picnic under the trees, be sure to keep an eye out for Samuel, a mysterious bear and his basket full of surprises!
This event is the first of the 150th Anniversary signature themed events and focuses on the heritage and history of the Botanic Garden. Bring the whole family along to experience the garden and all that it offers; the walkways, duck pond, flowers, bird life, children’s playground and more.
We know a lot about the plants we grow but what’s hiding in between the roots and stems? Help us uncover the garden's secrets.
This 24-hour Bioblitz offers the opportunity for children and families to look into the diversity of plants and animals that live at the Wellington Botanic Garden. Scientists from around the country, Friends of the Wellington Botanic Garden and individual volunteers will help analyse the secrets of the garden. The results of the Bioblitz will be made publicly available.
We're in a race to snapshot as many different species in the Botanic Garden as we can within 24-hours. As a super science sleuth, you'll use iNaturalist, the latest mobile phone technology so that you can make solo discoveries. If you prefer to work in a team, our field trips will give you the upper hand with an expert leading the pack.
Join our special 150th anniversary BioBlitz and help us discover what's really living and growing in the garden in 2019.
Treehouse Visitor Centre(New location)
*Bookings are required. Book your spot on a FREE tour using the links below.