Events

Join us on one of our regular walks, talks, or exhibitions.

Some of our members are experienced botanists, gardeners, and historians — so there’s lots to learn, and we’re always happy to answer your questions.

Our upcoming events include:

Please note that all walks are free for Friends of the Wellington Botanic Garden.

Guided walks for 2022

To keep everyone safe, all walk attendees, including visitors, guides and tail- enders, must present their Covid-vaccination pass certificates. Children under 12 will be able to the join walks after they have been vaccinated, although the walks are not designed with this age group in mind.

Tuesday, 3 May, 12 noon

Brown bag lunch – Marion Discovery Garden – Love our bees

The lecture will be held in the Learning pavilion located in the Discovery Garden.

Honeybees and a Botanic Garden, a marriage made in heaven, but life is not always so rosy after all for our honey producers. A short talk about the importance of honeybees and a perfect opportunity for you to get to see how honeybees work and live in our new viewing hive (apiscope). Attendees can view the apiscope in action on the day.

Meet at the Discovery Garden – entry by donation – Friends free

Sunday, 15 May, 11 am

Plant tropisms and ‘nasties’

In this easy 75-minute walk we will consider how plants respond in various, often surprising ways, to environmental stimuli such as root flooding, wind, temperature changes, touch, chemicals, electrical and magnetic fields, sudden shock including earthquakes and wounding, the sun’s diurnal motion, and the onset of darkness. Meet at Founders’ Entrance, Glenmore Street, Thorndon. Cost: $5 (cash only, please)

Monday, 23 May, 11 am

Back to the Future

A 90-minute walk on sustainability. Trees are keepers of our past and guardians of our future. How do we maintain that guardianship? The biodiversity of flora and fauna in New Zealand is in serious decline. Can we arrest or slow down the worst aspects of that decline? Meet at the Cable Car Entrance Lookout, Upland Road. Cost: $5 (cash only, please).

Sunday, 29 May, 11 am

OPEN DAY WALK

Our Heritage Garden

Wellington Botanic Garden is classified as A Garden of National Significance by the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture and as a Heritage Area by Heritage New Zealand. Enjoy an easy 90-minute guided walk through our native forest and plant collections, learn about our plants, some of our early history and about our historic buildings. Meet at the Founders’ Entrance, Glenmore Street. (No charge).

Sunday, 5 June, 11am

Music at the Begonia

Meet at the Begonia House – entry by donation towards the Begonia House refurbishment. Free seating for Friends

Tuesday, 7 June, 12 noon

Brown bag lunch – The Hallowed Path – Emily Fletcher

Wellington artist Emily Rose Fletcher of Alamandria will be sharing a sneak preview of her work-in-progress series entitled The Hallowed Path | Te Ara Tapu – filmed in the numinous environs of the Wellington Botanic Garden ki Paekākā.

‘Each short video is an ode to nature, as well as a dedication to this special location in Wellington which has inspired me and my work as an artist for over two decades now. The idea behind this series is to convey the deep reverence, gratitude and love for mother nature that we can all cultivate in quite simple yet insightful ways. I will be weaving my ritual of mandala making, as well as other creative and contemplative practices, into each audio visual vignette.  

Join Emily as she presents her project, shares her nature mandala making practice and discusses nature as the wellspring of creativity and wellbeing. 

Meet at the Treehouse – entry by donation – Friends free

Sunday, 19 June, 11 am

Trees that shaped history

In this 75-minute downhill walk we will talk about trees at the hub of textile manufacturing in the industrial revolution, extremely large-scale civil engineering, transport and mobility, ship building, food and beverages, ancient and modern medicine linkages, aeronautics and musical instrument making. Meet at Cable Car Entrance Lookout, Upland Road, Kelburn. Cost: $5 (cash only, please).

Monday, 27 June, 11 am

The Main Garden and its history

Hear intriguing stories about the early days of Wellington and the Botanic Garden on this easy 90-minute walk. Meet at the Founders’ Entrance, Glenmore Street.  Cost: $5 (Cash only please).

Sunday, 3 July, 11am

Music at the Begonia – Capital Harmony Chorus

Capital Harmony Chorus sing mainly four-part a Cappella in the barbershop style. We are a friendly group of women.

Meet at the Begonia House – entry by donation towards the Begonia House refurbishment. Free seating for Friends

Tuesday, 5 July, 12 noon

Brown bag lunch – BONSAI shaping and wiring techniques – Steven Yin

Steven Yin is a passionate bonsai curator and has one of the largest bonsai nursery’s in New Zealand with over 5500 plants.

Steven says that Bonsai is the art of growing ancient trees – those that look as if they are full size but miniature. The art is to always capture the shape and movement typical of a tree growing in the wild and translate that intent into a small perfect specimen.

Meet at the Treehouse – entry by donation – Friends free

Sunday, 17 July, 11 am

A woody fruit-fest

In this 75-minute downhill walk we will enjoy one of the legacies of Wellington’s previous summers, namely the large ‘smorgasbord’ of woody fruit structures. A close-up look at these ‘woodies’ will reveal a wide variety of mechanisms for fruit formation, protection and dispersal. Meet at Cable Car Entrance Lookout, Upland Road, Kelburn.Cost: $5 (Cash only please).

Monday, 26 July, 11 am

Escape to the tropics

To avoid the winter cold and hear stories about tropical and temperate plants, join this 60-minute stroll with a guide in the Begonia House.  Meet in the Begonia House Foyer. Cost: $5 (cash only, please).

Tuesday, 2 August, 12 noon

Brown bag lunch – Simon Woolf – How to photograph plants

Photographing plants with Simon Woolf

Well known Wellington photographer Simon Woolf will illustrate how to photograph plants and surroundings. Drawing on his extensive knowledge and experience  we will be given an insiders brief on what to look for, how to frame a picture, different ways of capturing an image regardless of the age, size or quality of your camera.

Would be of interest to anyone who likes to capture plants including students, garden lovers and semi-professional photographers.

Meet at the Treehouse – entry by donation – Friends free.

Sunday, 7 August, 11am

Music at the Begonia – Wellington Community Choir

Wellington Community Choir is a diverse and vibrant community of people who love to sing. Everyone is welcome!
We have been singing together since 2005, and learn and perform songs from New Zealand and around the world. Our Artistic Director is Lala Simpson.

Meet at the Begonia House – entry by donation towards the Begonia House refurbishment. Free seating for Friends

Sunday, 21 August, 11 am

Plants and the wider world

In this easy 75-minute walk we will look at the defining characteristics of the main plant groups: bryophytes [such as mosses and liverworts)], pteridophytes [ferns and other seedless vascular plants], gymnosperms [pines, podocarps and other plants with naked seeds] and angiosperms [flowering plants, with protected seeds]. Meet at Founders’ Entrance, Glenmore Street, Thorndon. Cost: $5 (cash only, please).

Monday, 22 August, 11 am

The Rose Garden area and its amazing story

The Lady Norwood Rose Garden was not always the beautiful garden that it is today. Discover why on this easy 60-minute walk. Meet in the Begonia House Foyer. If it is wet there will be a talk in the Begonia House. Cost: $5 (cash only, please).

Sunday, 4 September, 11am

Music at the Begonia – TBC

Meet at the Begonia House – entry by donation towards the Begonia House refurbishment. Free seating for Friends.

Tuesday, 6 September, 12 noon

Brown bag lunch

Meet at the Treehouse – entry by donation – Friends free.

Sunday, 18 September, 11 am

Bee awareness month walk – The secret life of bees

We rely on bees to pollinate many of our food and fodder plants, as well as our ornamental garden plants. On this walk we will discuss their skills, hidden talents and life cycles, observe them at work on the flowers, and their coming and going at the beehives. Meet at the Herb Garden Lookout for this easy 90-minute walk. Cost: $5 (cash only, please).

Monday 26 September, 11 am

Spring Festival walk – The joys of spring

Enjoy a walk among the spring flowers in the Main Garden. Meet at the Founders’ Entrance, Glenmore Street for this easy 75-minute walk. Cost: $5 (cash only, please).

Sunday, 2 October, 11am

Music at the Begonia – TBC

Meet at the Begonia House – entry by donation towards the Begonia House refurbishment. Free seating for Friends

Tuesday, 4 October, 12 noon

Brown bag lunch – Sculpture Trust Sue Elliott

The first of its kind, the Wellington Sculpture Trust has become an exemplar both nationally and internationally  in the development of best practice for commissioning public works of art. Sue Elliott, Wellington Sculpture Trust Chair for the past 10 years and a trustee for 13 years before that, will take us on a journey of discovery around our city, talk of lessons learnt, and detail exciting future projects, with no less than three works to be installed later this year. 

Meet at the Treehouse – entry by donation – Friends free

Sunday, 16 October, 11 am

Rejuvenation!

In this 75-minute downhill walk to celebrate Nature we will experience Wellington Botanic Garden’s leap into a new season. The appearance of new shoots and flowers, the enduring presence of pūriri’s seasonally-indifferent fruits, the pervasive smells of approaching summer and the sounds of busy insects are the essence of the wonderful botanical environment at our back door. Meet at Cable Car Entrance Lookout, Upland Road, Kelburn. Cost: $5 (cash only, please).

Monday, 24 October, 11 am

Seeing the old through new eyes

On this downhill walk through the old and regenerating vegetation on the Pukatea Bush walk you will see what the very early botanists from Europe saw and described as “new to science.” Meet at the Cable Car Entrance Lookout, Upland Road, Kelburn. Cost: $5 (cash only, please).

Tuesday, 1 November, 12 noon

Brown bag lunch

Meet at the Treehouse – entry by donation – Friends free.

Sunday, 6 November, 11am

Music at the Begonia – TBC

Meet at the Begonia House – entry by donation towards the Begonia House refurbishment. Free seating for Friends

Sunday, 20 November, 11 am

Water, Wind and Wood – Music in the Garden

 Join the guides on a musical tour of the Botanic Garden, listening to music and discussing the plants that are used to make musical instruments. Meet above the Playground for this 75 – 90-minute walk. Cost: $5 (cash only, please).

Monday, 28 November, 11 am

(tba)

Sunday, 4 December, 11 am

Music at the Begonia – Faultline Chorus

International medal winning Sweet Adelines women’s barbershop chorus based in Petone. They love being a part of the greater Wellington community and singing to support events. They’ll be joyfully singing their hearts out and wearing something in their signature pink colour. “You can’t miss us, and trust us, you don’t want to!

Meet at the Begonia House – entry by donation towards the Begonia House refurbishment. Free seating for Friends

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