One thing I’ve learned in my travels: if you’re ever in a new city and either at a loss for what to do or just needing a calm, relaxing break from the stress of traveling, look up the city’s botanical gardens. Ever since I had such a lovely time spending my 30th birthday walking through Kierstenbosch, the botanical gardens in Cape Town, I have had a soft spot in my heart for these gardens, scattered throughout the world and dedicated to the display and preservation of the flora unique to each region.
The Auckland and Wellington gardens use the older form “botanic gardens”; both are equally correct.
These gardens also tend to have interesting sculptures scattered around, as seen in this photo where I demonstrate my camera skill by completely botching the exposure:
We’ll pretend that I meant to do that as a study in contrast between the sky and the building. Anyway.
The Auckland gardens are located out East, near Manukau, and run adjacent to Totara Park. Although it was Winter when I visited, Auckland’s temperate climate means they can have outdoor displays on year-round. But I will definitely have to come back in Spring once the Roses are in bloom!
I do love this pond; it is very nicely sculpted. There’s one lone duck in this shot too! As I walked across the bridge he informed me via some very vocal quacking that I was encroaching on his turf.
The gardens are free to enter, and provide a nice tranquil spot to just walk and meditate. I’m sure during Spring and Summer the place gets mobbed with visitors and school groups, but the day I went it was mostly just small groups of tourists. And it was a fine August day, with largely clear blue skies.
The flora around the Auckland region features palms very heavily, which is reflected here in the gardens.
The Winter plants section also features Magnolias very strongly. We have Magnolias in the Southeastern US as well, though different species from the Magnolias here in New Zealand.
They do still produce quite pretty flowers, though!
These are Camellias, which I don’t think we have in the States. They’re native to the Philippines and Southeast Asia, but obviously also thrive here.
It’s a testament to the fantastic climate here in Northern New Zealand that the Auckland Botanic Gardens have no indoor exhibits. Even the Wellington gardens have an indoor greenhouse.
There’s also a fantastic large pond. Truly such a peaceful, gorgeous place.
This post has already gotten a bit long; I have way more photos than I thought! I haven’t even gotten to the bush walk photos yet, and I also did some hiking in Totara Park that I have pictures from! So I’ll end this post with the above picture of the pond above, and next time we’ll see some trails!