February 22, 2014
Wellington, the pretty coastal capital of New Zealand, was a fitting end to our road trip on the north island. I only wish we had had more time to do justice to this vibrant and charming city.
Arriving early afternoon, after the 4 hour drive from Tongariro National Park, we had just enough time to check out the Botanic Garden and the restaurant scene along the harbor.
The Wellington Botanic Garden perched above the city center is a great place to stretch your legs and take in the views. We took the cable car up from the Terrace to the cable car entrance on the south side of the garden.
After checking out the viewpoints near the entrance we followed the path marked with pink flowers down to the lower gardens. Our favorite spots were the succulent garden with a weird nearly black rose-like flower on bare stems and the Begonia House filled with a profusion of colorful begonias and a tidy water lily pond. Note that the Begonia House closes at 5PM in summer and 4PM in the winter.