Wellington Botanic Garden

A couple days ago, I decided it was about time I checked out Wellington Botanic Garden. Shalom and I briefly visited to watch the fireworks for Guy Fawkes Day, but that was at night. I walked from Karori to the upper part of the garden to take in the quintessential view of Wellington and its famous cable car, which has been around since 1902.

Wellington Cable Car, running since 1902
Wellington Cable Car – not a bad way to commute

Despite what I first thought, residents use the cable car regularly to commute to work. I assumed it was just a tourist thing, but it serves a practical purpose for people living in the area. Much easier than climbing this hill on the way home from work, and you get a great view of the gardens on your way up or down!

Greenhouse and the cable car track
Greenhouse and the cable car track
I started second guessing if this was part of the garden or someone's house...
I started second-guessing whether this was part of the garden or someone’s house…

I wound my way down the meandering pathways of the garden, towards the city center, and enjoyed the amazing weather. While most plants are no longer in bloom, it was still breathtakingly gorgeous.

So many enormous trees here!
So many enormous trees here!
Path by the old stables, built in the early 20th Century
Path by the old stables, built in the early 20th Century

By far, my favorite part was the row of Sugar Magnolia trees, with their surreal serpentine branches.

Chinese Sugar Magnolia
Chinese Sugar Magnolia
I wonder if the Grateful Dead ever visited Wellington...
I wonder if the Grateful Dead ever visited Wellington…

The gardens also have a great “treehouse” lookout, which offers amazing 360 degree views.

Porch of the treehouse
Porch of the treehouse
Wellington hillside from the treehouse
Wellington hillside from the treehouse
Had to take a reflection shot
Had to take a reflection shot

There is a stream that winds through the gardens and a great little pond with a gazebo built on it.

So Victorian
So Victorian

And I’m pretty sure I found a gnome home…

Perfect, right?
Perfect, right?

Last but not least, I had to return to the old stables and surrounding buildings, which reminded me so much of something from the Brothers Grimm. I love how plants have started to sprout from the roofs, making the structures seem even more a part of the gardens.

Nature taking over
Nature taking over
Fairytales come true
Fairytales do come true

I’ll definitely be going back any time I want a peaceful stroll right near the city.

Today, I’m headed up to Mount Victoria to seek out the spots they used for filming in Lord of the Rings. Since filming was based in Wellington, there are great places to be discovered everywhere around the city. More to come!

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