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Welcome to Wellington Botanic Garden! With 25 hectares of beautiful garden and 150 years of history, we have been recognized as a Garden of National Significance by the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture, as well as an important Heritage Area by Historic Places Trust.
Join us as we celebrate our 150th Anniversary! From 3 September 2018 to November 2019 we are celebrating the Wellington Botanic Garden with a range of free family-friendly events. Click here to find out more.
The Wellington Botanic Garden is a series of curated collections designed and cared for by our on-the-ground team of dedicated staff.
We have an amazing range of beautiful, botanical plant species to see from all over the world as well as collections that pay tribute to New Zealand's natural heritage.
There’s always something new in bloom!
Areas of the garden include:
The area where the Botanic Garden now sits has been an important site for generations. When Europeans arrived, there were already well established Pā’s at Pipitea and Kumutoto. The people of Te Ātiawa from Pipitea Pā used the Botanic Garden for ngākinga (food cultivation), collecting native plants for construction, food, fibre and medicine, and birds for food.
Te Ātiawa used large areas of the garden, and nearby hill Te Ahumairangi, for their own use and for trading until they were displaced from their pā in the mid-1800s.
In 1844, the New Zealand Company set aside a 5.26 hectare strip of land to start a botanic garden reserve. At that time the area was covered in dense podocarp forest including rimu, totara and mataī.
The official Wellington Botanic Garden was established in 1868, with the Botanic Garden Bill passed in 1869. The management of the gardens was passed on to the New Zealand Institute.
Trees growing today on Druid Hill and Magpie Spur grew from seedlings planted at that time, and are some of the oldest exotic trees in Aotearoa. In the 1870s the garden was boosted with a further 21.85 hectares of reserve land, to make it the large Wellington Botanic Garden we know today.
Wellington City Council has managed the Botanic Garden since 1891.
The Botanic Garden currently has a silver rating from Be. Accessible. Take a look at our Accessibility Report to help plan your journey.Generally, the Botanic Garden is hilly, but the following areas are wheelchair friendly.
You can borrow a courtesy wheelchair or mobility scooter from the Treehouse Visitor Centre. To book one in advance, please phone the Treehouse 04 499 1400.
The Botanic Garden is minutes away from downtown Wellington and is easily accessed.
There are many entrances to the Garden including from Glenmore Street, Salamanca Road, Upland Road and the Cable Car. The only public vehicle access is through Centennial Entrance on Glenmore Street.
The main entrance to the garden is on Glenmore Street.
Mobility scooters and a wheelchair are available free of charge from the Treehouse Visitor Centre, and may be booked in advance by calling 04 473 5747.
Year-round | Dawn to Dusk
Year-round | 9am - 4pmClosed Christmas Day and Boxing Day
Year-round | 8.30am - 4pmChristmas Day | Closed
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday | Limited Access (may be closed for school group)Friday - Monday | 10am - Dusk
Find out more at our Treehouse Visitor Centre,Wellington Botanic Garden04 499 1400Treehouse@wcc.govt.nz
There are several self-guided walks - the Downhill walk from the Cable Car to the City, the Waipiro and Pukatea bush walks, Sculpture Trail, Kowhai Walk, and Sensation Walk.
Brochures for the Solander Trail and Sensation Walk (in print and Braille) are available from the Treehouse Visitor Centre. Find directions for the other walks on the Botanic Garden brochure map.
The Friends of Wellington Botanic Garden offer two guided walks per month on the 3rd Sunday and 4th Monday of the month at 11am.
A Botanic Garden favourite located in the Main Garden. Sit on a bench surrounded by historic trees and watch the ducks swim by a turreted gazebo.
Please don't feed the ducks human food (including bread)! We offer kibbled maize (corn) duck food at the pond or at the Treehouse if you would like to feed them.
The children’s play area is a favourite with generations of Wellingtonians. It is particularly popular with families and school groups. There are double slides, a rocktopus, flying fox and more. There are also picnic tables, toilets and an enclosed play area for small children. Access the play area from the Main gate, Cable Car entrance or Glen Road entrance.
Te Kaapuia o Te Waoku – We are all part of nature.
The Discovery Garden is a fantastic living classroom where curious minds can explore and learn about the natural world. Come and discover the surprising uses of plants - for food, fibre, medicine, and construction. This is our base for school and holiday programs.
Public access: 10am: Friday - Monday
Limited access: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
(The Discovery Garden is closed during school or holiday programme sessions.)
Enjoy glow-worms in the Main Garden, from the Duck Pond up to Glen Road alongside Pukatea Stream with a guided tour. They are only visible at night and the best time to spot them is in spring, after rain.
Guided glow-worm tours are available at various times throughout the year. Check out our Events page for details.
Explore our popular glasshouses to see tropical and temperate displays, including seasonal displays of orchids, tuberous begonias, cyclamen, ornamentals, and others. The tropical end also features a lily pond containing aquatic plants.
Our lovely gift shop is located in the Treehouse Visitor Centre. Browse a wide range of New Zealand gifts, practical garden products, accessories, books, cards, hand-made jewellery and branded products. Purchases at the shop help grow the garden.
This award-winning garden has 110 formal beds, each representing a different variety of rose. It includes newly released roses and traditional favourites. The design is geometric with colonnades on three sides, creating a striking contrast to the backdrop of bush and sloping lawns.
With a view of the tree-tops, the Treehouse Visitor Centre offers a rest-stop with a lookout in the middle of the garden. Our friendly staff can help you with information on the garden or surrounding areas of Wellington City.
There are all sorts of fun activities going on in the garden, either self-guided or through our Education Department.
Our Explorer Backpacks are packed full of activities and equipment- everything you need for an exciting adventure through the Botanic Garden. They're free to borrow from the Treehouse Visitor Centre and Botanic Garden Shop during opening hours.
Kiwi Guardians at Wellington Botanic Garden
Toyota Kiwi Guardians is an activity programme for kids to learn about nature, earn cool rewards and go on epic family adventures! As a Kiwi Guardian discover new paths and hidden surprises.
Instructions on the DOC Kiwi Guardian page can be found here.
Note: Steps and uneven paths are part of the activity. For accessible options contact the Treehouse Visitor Centre, phone 04 499 1400 or email email@example.com.
Stop by for a drink or a meal at this café located in the Lady Norwood Rose Garden.
The Peace Garden's flame comes from the fires created by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War II. The people of Japan presented the flame to New Zealand in recognition of our efforts against nuclear weapons.
You can volunteer and help at Wellington Botanic Garden by acting as a host or joining a Friends of the Garden project.
There is a lively group of volunteers who make an essential contribution to the Wellington Botanic Garden. While some donate a few hours each month, other volunteers are in the Garden weekly.
Volunteers help in many different ways. Their time and effort range from planting and pruning to leading guided tours. People from all over the world come to volunteer for a day or several months.
Wellington Gardens looks for friendly enthusiastic hosts, especially through the cruise ship season of November - April.
You don't need in-depth knowledge of plants or gardening, but a little will help.
Hosting commitments are 2½-hour sessions during the cruise ship season and are arranged to suit your availability.
Email WGVolunteer@wcc.govt.nz to learn more and get involved.
Dogs are welcome as long as they are on a lead and you clean up after them.
The closest off lead areas are on Te Ahumairangi Hill and above the Terrace tunnel. View all the off lead areas in Wellington here.
There are a series of sculptures and carvings in the gardens. Artists featured include Henry Moore, Andrew Drummond and Chris Booth. Walk our Sculpture Trail to see a selection.
Check out our unique fountains and sundials gifted from other countries.
The Space Place provides a window into the night sky with displays on astronomy. Visit the planetarium, shop and audio-visual exhibits.
The Cable Car Lookout offers a 180-degree view of the city and harbour. On clear days, you can see the Rimutaka Range.
Located in the original winding house for the cable car system and set over two floors, the museum houses the winding mechanism operational from 1902 until 1978. It’s also home to two of the original grip cars that operated on the line.
Step back in time see how Wellington’s most iconic transport system has developed.
Have a drink or a meal next to the one of Wellington’s top attractions, the Cable Car Lookout.
Our gardens are home to a dazzling array of plants AND animals! They are fantastic habitats for a diverse array of endemic, native and introduced birds - Wellington is one of the few cities in the world where native biodiversity is increasing.
Pick up a copy of our Bird Watchers Guide at the gardens or download below – it is available in both English and Te Reo Maori. Can you spot them all?
We add the scenery to a wide variety of events from school visits, to corporate meetings, to weddings.
Contact the Treehouse Visitor Centre to make your booking today.
Note: any commercial activity requires a permit, including photography.
Commercial operators (ie. tour provider, photographer) must have written permission to conduct business activities at Wellington Botanic Garden. Contact the Treehouse Visitor Centre to secure permission. No personal training or group fitness training is permitted.
Bringing your class to Wellington Botanic Garden? We need to know! Contact the Treehouse Visitor Centre to book your group's visit. The booking covers health and safety hazards and allows us to manage garden activities, ensuring your group has a great visit.
Planning a group picnic, team building or summer do? If your group is more than 20 people, you must make a booking. This helps to ensure you and the gang have the best experience possible. We don't want you to go to all the effort organising a great event and then have noisy tree work or hedge trimming right next to you. Let us help you have a great time.
Wellington Botanic Garden includes facilities for weddings, meetings, small conferences, corporate functions or concerts.The Botanic Garden is a scenic, popular place for weddings and events. There are many picturesque settings for hire. As it is a public garden, no outdoor areas are hired exclusively.
Small weddings - of around 20-30 guests - can be held almost anywhere in the Garden. Large weddings locations include the Dell and Magpie lawns, Puriri and Linden lawns by the Duck Pond, and on Remembrance Ridge.
The seminar room can be booked for seminars and workshops, but not social events. The seminar room seats up to 35 people in a theatre style seating arrangement or 20 people around tables.
Treehouse Seminar Room - Bookings and more information
The foyer of the Begonia House is available for weddings and cocktail functions from 5pm, after the House has closed to the public. The foyer holds up to 90 people seated at tables (depending on your configuration), and 120 for standing receptions. You must engage a caterer to use this venue and hire furniture & sound system to suit your purposes. The temperature is 16 - 20°C. A catering kitchen is available.
The Begonia House Foyer - bookings and more information
To book Picnic Café, contact them directly by phone 04 472 6002
Picnic Café website
Magpie Lawn - above the Glenmore Street West entrance and below the Mariri Road entrance - is a spacious summer venue for large functions. There are toilets 400m away in the Main Garden.
Magpie Lawn - Bookings and more information
Behind the Begonia House - is perfect for large picnics, functions and public performances. Three-phase power and water are available, and there are toilets nearby. Service vehicles are the only vehicles allowed in this area. Amplified music must stop at 10pm.
The Dell - Bookings and more information
Marquees are only permitted on The Dell between November and April and require the contracting of a marquee company. The Garden does not provide marquees. More information on Marquees.
More information on Marquees
The Soundshell - just inside the Main Garden - can hold up to 600 people and has a stage. Toilets are located nearby in the Main Garden.
The Soundshell - Bookings and more information
Puriri and Linden lawns by the Duck Pond, and Remembrance Ridge are great sites for large gatherings. Small picnics - of around 20-30 guests - can be held almost anywhere in the Garden.
Make a booking (104 KB PDF)
Keep to the paths and lawns. Take your rubbish home. The following activities are prohibited: