South Island, Pt. 2: The Queen’s Gardens and the Centre of New Zealand

I’m on the South Island! In Nelson! If you’re wondering how I got to Nelson, check out the last post. If you’re wondering how I got to the South Island, check out Part 0. If you’re wondering who I am, check out my About page and maybe start on the first post. If you’re wondering who you are…well, I can’t help you with that, but you’re viewing my blog so I’m assuming you are quite intelligent and good-looking.

Moving on: as part of my self-guided Nelson tour, I went to the Queen’s Gardens.

The gardens are a nice, quiet area not far from the town center.

To your left as you walk in is a water wheel which is…not connected to anything. I guess it’s an art piece commenting on the innate pointlessness of human endeavor?

To contribute my own pointless endeavor, I made a short video of the water wheel.

The water for the wheel flows down this channel…

From this source.

The path moving on from there is closed, so I retraced my steps back to the pond and the bridge.

Across the bridge are the gardens, which are understated but pretty.

There are some flowers in the gardens.

I didn’t write down the names of any of these and I’m far too lazy to look them up, so all I can really contribute is “hey, here’s a flower”. I will say that, while a bit cliche, roses are quite nice.

And here’s more flowers.

Beyond the main gardens lies the Huangshi Chinese Garden. Huangshi in Hubei Province, China is Nelson’s sister city, and to celebrate that relationship there’s a Chinese garden here.

The Chinese garden is also really cool.

The walls to the garden are themselves decorative, with a number of carved shapes.

Right outside the Chinese Garden swim some ducks! The ducklings are growing up so fast!

There’s another bridge back to the central gardens from the other side. I like it how each bridge is unique and not just a copy / paste from the other bridge.

On this side of the gardens stands a(nother) monument to fallen soldiers.

A quick jaunt over the river (though not through the woods) leads us to Branford Park.

Branford Park is home to a short but steep trail leading to the Centre of New Zealand!

To be clear, this is the surveying center of the country. The country is divided into 13 districts, the Nelson Land District being the central of these. This point is the origin point of the Nelson Land District, meaning that every border inside the district exists on a coordinate plane with the center (0, 0) being the needle you see above. Depending on your proclivities, this might be extremely interesting or horribly boring, but I think it’s pretty cool.

Even if you think the surveying stuff is boring, you have to admit the center provides some pretty nice views!

Nelson’s port.

Nelson’s starboard.

The rolling hills of the Tasman region.

And out into the bay.

There are even some of these panoramic guides to tell us what we’re looking at!

So that’s Nelson! If you want to see more of the beautiful Nelson region, don’t worry…these first three posts have only covered my first day! I spent five days total here, so we will be hanging out in Nelson for a while (not at the pace of three posts per day, though).

Next post, I go for a drive, see a waterfall, and get eaten. See you then!


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