The Best Parks and Gardens in Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington Botanic Gardens
Wellington Botanic Gardens | © Denis Bin/Flickr
Thalita Alves

Wellington is the best destination to get your fix of natural views. As with many places in New Zealand, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to parks, gardens and nature reserves. Place yourself in a picture-perfect scenery by adding these seven spots to your travel checklist.

Wellington’s Central Park

Within walking distance of downtown Wellington you’ll find the popular, aptly-named Central Park. Locals and visitors alike love the park’s mix of gardens, playgrounds, grassy fields, natural woodland and native bush. Its vegetation includes deciduous trees, pines, eucalyptus trees, and an array of native species.

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The Botanic Garden

Wellington Botanic Gardens

Truby King Park

A historic house, garden, park and mausoleum are confined in this one space. The Truby King Park is actually a heritage estate. It used to be the home of Sir Frederic Truby King and Lady Isabella Truby King, who are renowned for founding the Plunket Society. Along with being a pioneer in children’s healthcare, Sir Truby King was quite a keen gardener – he’s very much to thank for the collection of plants and flowers that visitors can freely access today.

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Mount Victoria

Mount Victoria is probably the most renowned summits in the region. Its eastern location, not too far away from the Wellington central, makes it a popular spot for locals and tourists wanting to glimpse of the spectacular views. Mount Victoria’s walking and cycling tracks are brimming with pine trees and greenery to admire too.

Mount Victoria Park

Otari-Wilton’s Bush

Also known as the Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton’s Bush Reserve, this is the only public garden in New Zealand that is entirely dedicated to native plant life. Entry is free for all visitors, who will be able to view some of Wellington’s oldest trees (one of which is 800 years old) as well as 100 hectares’ worth of forest. Because of its rich, native collection, Otari-Wilton’s Bush is classified as a Garden of International Significance by the New Zealand Gardening Trust.

Native Rata tree, Otari-Wilton’s Bush

George Denton Park and Polhill Reserve

Part of the Wellington Town Belt, George Denton Park and Polhill Reserve come together to bring visitors a place to unwind and/or get active. The area comprises numerous hiking and cycling tracks, a flowing stream, picnic spots, grassed areas and a playground. If you’re a bit of a war history buff, the Polhill Reserve is within walking distance of Wellington’s anti-aircraft World War II gun emplacements.

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Stellin Memorial Park

This park is a memorial to World World II airman James Stellin, who died in France as he struggled to avoid crashing his fighter plane into a local village. Along with its interesting history, the Stellin Memorial Park has a steep, grassed walkway leading visitors to its lookout. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with an idyllic 180 degree perspective of the Wellington harbour.

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landscape with balloons floating in the air

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