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.

Sunday 16 January, 11 am

Summer colour

Enjoy an easy 60-minute walk with a guide around our Main Garden borders, the Red Garden, the Fragrant Garden and the Duck Pond area. Meet at the Founders’ Entrance, Glenmore Steet. Cost: $5 (cash only please).

Monday 24 January, 11 am

Food plants from around the world

We shall look at plants, some of which are now used around the world, that have provided food and prosperity in their countries of origin. This easy, 75-minute downhill walk begins above the playground, and finishes in the Begonia House. Cost: $5 (cash only please).

Sunday 20 February, 11 am

Adaptive radiation of plants

Adaptive radiation is the evolution of ecological diversity within rapidly multiplying lines of plants. In effect, evolution through natural selection. Just like Darwin said. This 90-minute downhill walk will look at some of the plants, both native and exotic, that have adapted successfully to different environments in New Zealand and the wider Pacific.  Meet at Cable Car Entrance Lookout, Upland Road, Kelburn. Cost: $5 (cash only, please).

Monday, 28 February, 11 am

New Zealand’s unusual plants

Have you ever wondered why New Zealand’s native plants are so different from those in other countries? This walk discusses the history of New Zealand’s geography and how plants have adapted to it.  Meet at the Cable Car Entrance Lookout, Upland Road, Kelburn, for this 90-minute downhill walk. Cost: $5 (cash only, please).

Sunday, 20 March, 11 am

Plants that changed the world

On this walk we look at plants from around the world that provide us with food, beverages, boats, building materials, bottle stoppers, musical instruments, clothing, tooth brushes and kitchen utensils. We meet at the bottom of the Treehouse lift, and finish in the Begonia House.  This is a 75 – 90-minute walk with one uphill section. Cost: $5 (cash only, please).

Monday, 28 March, 11 am

A walk in the Botanic Garden with Katherine Mansfield and other literary friends

Katherine, who spent her early childhood and some of her teenage and young adult years living and attending school in Thorndon, knew the Garden and its environs very well. We shall visit both natural and cultivated areas of the Garden, exploring Katherine’s love of plants as expressed in her writing and that of others connected to her literary world. Meet at the Founders’ Entrance, Glenmore Street. A 90-minute walk, with some uphill sections. Cost: $5 (cash only, please).

Sunday, 17 April, 11 am

The forest as a self-contained ‘organism’

The mushrooms we see in forests are, as fruiting bodies’, merely the shop-front for extensive networks of underground fungal mycelia. Trees and associated vegetation form mutually beneficial [and sometimes destructive] relationships with such networks. These relationships allow forests to function as stable self-contained entities. This easy 75-minute walk will help us to improve our appreciation of this important aspect of Nature.   

Meet at Founders’ Entrance, Glenmore Street, Thorndon. Cost: $5 (cash only, please).

Monday, 25 April, 11 am

Anzac Day Walk of Remembrance

On this walk we shall look at plants from some of the countries involved in the two World Wars and plants associated with peace and remembrance. Meet at the Cable Car entrance for this easy 60-minute walk. Cost: $5 (cash only, please).

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, 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, 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).

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, 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, 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).

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 16 January, 11 am

Summer colour

Enjoy an easy 60-minute walk with a guide around our Main Garden borders, the Red Garden, the Fragrant Garden and the Duck Pond area. Meet at the Founders’ Entrance, Glenmore Steet. Cost: $5 (cash only please).

Monday 24 January, 11 am

Food plants from around the world

We shall look at plants, some of which are now used around the world, that have provided food and prosperity in their countries of origin. This easy, 75-minute downhill walk begins above the playground, and finishes in the Begonia House. Cost: $5 (cash only please).

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