The Greenwood Guide to New Zealand
Wellington, New Zealand

Nature and Activities in Wellington, New Zealand

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Trinity Farm Living Rose Museum

Otaki

Botany & gardens

Forget the usual stuffy old museum with heavy dusty air and a persistently ticking clock, Trinity Living Rose Museum is quite literally a breath of fresh air. One of the country's best collections of old roses cluster and pose throughout three acres of spray-free gardens. Rose keenos Ann and Lloyd Chapman, the founders of the museum, have passed on everything they know after two decades of collecting, tending, writing and speaking about roses. Blooming lovely.

  • Prices: $5 entry fee. Picnics welcome. Coffee and other drinks available.
  • Contact: 202 Waitohu Valley Road, Otaki
  • Tel: 06-364-6193/Freephone within NZ 0800-955-555
  • Email: roses@trinityfarm.co.za
  • Web: www.trinityfarm.co.za
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Paraparaumu Golf Course

Kapiti Coast

Golf

A championship course that has hosted the New Zealand Open on 12 occasions. Try not to get too distracted by the views of Kapiti Island. Visitors are welcome, although it’s worth booking a bit in advance.

  • Contact: 376 Kapiti Road, Paraparaumu Beach
  • Tel: 04-902-8200
  • Fax: 04-902 8201
  • Email: bookings@paraparaumubeachgolfclub.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Kapiti Island

Kapiti Coast

Nature & wildlife

Kapiti Island is the summit of a submerged mountain range that was created by an earthquake 200 million years ago. Its more recent history involves a dramatic and highly successful transformation into a predator-free (no cats, dogs, deer, cattle, sheep, rats or possums) nature reserve and one of the nation's most important bird-recovery sites. Many endangered species reside here, including the little spotted kiwi, which is now extinct on the mainland. Visits to the island are limited and you must book ahead to obtain a permit from the Department of Conservation. This is one place however, where a bit of pre-planning is worth the effort. With swimming, snorkelling, a distinct Maori history and walks to the top of the 520m summit that are rewarded with 360° views, ensure you pack swimming-togs, goggles, camera and lunch. Boats depart from Paraparaumu Beach in front of the Kapiti Boating Club. There are two launch operators, Kapiti Marine Charters and Kapiti Tours Ltd to get you there. Apply for permits to: Department of Conservation's, visitor information centre in Wellington.

  • Prices: The total fees to visit Kapiti Island Nature Reserve are $9.00/adult and $4.50/child plus the cost of launch transport.
  • Contact: Paraparaumu Beach, Kapiti Coast
  • Email: Kapiti.Island@doc.govt.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Staglands Wildlife Reserve

Upper Hutt

Nature & wildlife

Spend the whole day here hand-feeding rare and wonderful species of birds, fish and other animals or walking the 10ha of stream and pond-filled landscape and exploring the old bush settlement. At least ensure you stop off for a coffee in the original log-built café as you pass. A few scrubby paddocks, a vision and an awful lot of hard work have transformed this special landscape into an eco-wonderland.

Staglands Wildlife Reserve
  • Prices: Adults $14, senior citizens $12, children $7. Group rates available. Open every day 10am - 5pm (except Christmas Day). Café open 10:30am - 4:30pm. Free use of on-site BBQ.
  • Contact: Akatarawa Valley, Upper Hutt, Wellington
  • Tel: 04-526-7529
  • Fax: 04-526-8529
  • Email: wildlife@staglands.co.nz
  • Web: www.staglands.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Matiu/Somes Island

Wellington

Nature & wildlife

Matiu/Somes Island was previously used as a human and animal quarantine station, protecting the mainland from its inhabitants. Now the island, a pest-protected wildlife sanctuary and site of cultural heritage, protects its inhabitants from the mainland. It was off-limits to the general public until 1996 when it passed into the care of the DOC. The Dominion Post ferry now does up to nine sailings a day between Queen’s Wharf and Matiu/Somes Island and East by West ferries provide a regular service from both central Wellington and Days Bay. Crossings take 20-30 minutes. A small landing fee applies.

  • Contact: Accessible by boat, Matiu/Somes Island
  • Tel: 04-472-7356
  • Fax: 04-471-2075
  • Email: wellingtonvc@doc.govt.nz
  • Web: www.doc.govt.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Karori Wildlife Sanctuary

Wellington

Nature & wildlife

Literally minutes from Wellington city centre Korori Wildlife Sanctuary is a mainland oasis of protected flora and fauna. Natural wetland and native New Zealand bush thrive within the predator-proof fenced area and provide homes for a plethora of species (including the little spotted kiwi). Maps are available for DIY guiding, although I’d recommend one of the day- or night-guided tours for a complete picture.

  • Prices: $10 for adults, $4 children.
  • Contact: Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, 31 Waiapu Road, Karori, Wellington
  • Tel: 04-920-2222
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Wellington Highlights

  • Pick up a leaflet from the tourist information centre and head off on one of Wellington's many heritage trails. Wellington is full of classic architecture and notable buildings such as Parliament House and Old St Paul's.
  • Take the short, steep and scenic cable-car ride from Lambton Quay to Kelburn and Wellington's scent-filled botanic gardens. Lady Norwood Rose Garden, a spectacular wheel of colour, blooms throughout the summer.
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