Wellington (also called the windy city) is the capital of New Zealand, second biggest to Auckland. As is all of New Zealand, this city is beautiful and has a lot to offer! I did one of the ship’s shore excursions to Zealandia and Otari Native Botanic Garden, two of Wellington’s botanical parks.
At Zealandia you have a guided tour through this wonderfully kept, natural park. And when I say ‘natural’ I mean the fact that they only have native plants and animals in this park. NZ has been pestered over the years with many types of different plants and animals being brought to the country, with bad results (to say the least!). So, it is amazing to see how completely dedicated they are to bring everything back to the original. Zealandia is also surrounded by a fence specifically designed to keep unwanted animals out (see photo above), while still maintaining a save environment for the animals who live there.
The little ducks you can see in the photos has quite the story about them… a few weeks earlier this duck, with her little chicks, were seen in the streets of Wellington! Obviously not a save place for them to be, but on an obvious mission to somewhere. And so, a police officer came across them (I think they were causing some trouble for the traffic), and decided his job for the day will be to follow them, and make sure they reach their destination (wherever that may be) safely. It turned out they were heading straight for Zealandia, where they waited in front of the gate until someone opened up for them, and they have been staying there ever since :).
Otari Native Botanic Garden is also a beautiful park that aims so conserve the indigenous plants. With well-informed tour guides this is such an interesting park to visit.
A must-see in Wellington is the botanical garden right in the centre of town. A great way to get there is via the tram. The botanical gardens not only offer lush greenery and peaceful walking trails, but a fantastic view over the city. They also boast a huge rose garden and nursery.
Last but not least, I would definitely recommend going to the New Zealand Te Papa Museum. Here you can learn about NZ’s history, typhoons, the Maori, the history of the Haka, the sea life…pretty much all aspect of NZ’s natural history.