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Welcome to Truby King House and Garden, a 1.9 hectare slice of history tucked into a beautiful corner of Wellington. This heritage-listed estate includes a unique house and garden nestled in Wellington’s Melrose hills along the Southern Walkway. Though one of Wellington’s lesser known gardens, this estate offers a special look at Wellington’s past, as well as the ocean below.
Truby King House and Garden has had several prominent residents over time- perhaps most notably Sir Truby King himself. Together, Sir Truby and Lady Isabella co-founded the Plunket Society in 1907. They later founded similar societies in England, Australia, South Africa, India and Canada.
Sir Truby and Lady Isabella King are widely remembered for their contribution to improving the health of children and the mentally ill. Their work created refuge for recovering mothers and children. The estate serves as their final resting place today, with both interred in an onsite mausoleum.
The Plunket Society took over the property as well as the adjacent baby products factory and Karitane Hospital in 1932. The house was used as a dormitory for senior nurses and at other times as office space for the Plunket Society.
Today, the house is ranked by both New Zealand Historic Places Trust and City Council as a heritage listing.
Truby King had a knack for gardening. The collections of pines, roses, rhododendrons, and azaleas were planted in the 1920s by Sir Truby King himself, with some still flourishing today. You can still find pines and macrocarpas planted by Truby King around the estate.
The design of the estate includes a unique series of paths, brick walls and archways, with a stunning lookout over Lyall Bay.
Wellington City Council is working towards restoring the eclectic planting style of the original garden.
The house - designed by architect William Gray Young and built in 1923 – is noted for its unique 1920s design. The architect tailored his work to the location, allowing for extra windows to let in the natural light.
Although the gardens and Mausoleum are open to the public, the house is only opened to the public at an open day each year.
It was not until 1990-91 before the land including the house, mausoleum, and garden, was acquired by Wellington City Council.
You may notice on a stroll through this area that some spots are under maintenance. We are committed to protecting and maintaining these special, historic paths and structures so they can be enjoyed for generations to come.
Truby King House and Garden is located at 21 Manchester Terrace, off Manchester Street in Melrose.
To find out more contact us at:
Phone 04 499 1400
Truby King Park - All year | Dawn to dusk
Truby King House - Closed to the public (Except for an annual open day)
The gardens of rhododendrons, azaleas, and pines were planted in the 1920s by Sir Truby himself and are still flourishing to this day. Beautiful cherry trees line the drive around the house.
There are lovely picnic spots throughout the garden ranging from tucked away lawns and nooks to windswept vistas.
The pathways, brick arches and lookouts add to the garden’s unique appeal.
Sir Truby and Lady Isabella are buried in a mausoleum in the garden.
The house was designed by architect William Gray Young and built in 1923 - it has New Zealand Historic Places Trust and City Council heritage listings.
(The House is leased to Conservation Volunteers New Zealand and is closed to the public except for the annual open day).
Truby King Park is on the Southern Walkway.
If you are interested in volunteering at Truby King Park, contact the Treehouse Visitor Centre.