New Zealand as a whole is famed for the quality of its gardens and the Wellington Botanic Gardens are amongst the best throughout the country. As one of NZ’s Gardens of National Significance, these gardens have a lot to live up to, and all it takes is a little exploration to see that they well and truly do. Situated in the aforementioned wonderful spot overlooking Wellington, the Botanic Gardens are a dazzling array of all things floral with exotic forests, stunning rose gardens, lush native bush and smaller specially-themed areas all combining to provide a breathtaking new spectacle to be taken in around every path. Beginning from the top of the gardens, a range of paths wind their way between magnificent trees the specialised gardens over an absolutely massive area. It’s easy to spend several hours or more here, particularly if you’re the type who likes to – literally – stop and smell the roses. The gardens are built around the trek from the top station of the Wellington Cable Car down to the city, so simply grab a one-way ticket to the top and then make your way down over the course of one or two hours. It’s an extremely photogenic walk with plenty of spots to pause, rest and take some snapshots, the serene duck pond surrounded by greenery with its charming gazebo is a highlight, as is the amazing rose garden which comes into full bloom in the summer months and where the gardens’ restaurant is located. It’s also a spot that’s not entirely unenjoyable for kids, either – while the image of a floral garden might not seem of much interest for the little ones, there’s a robust playground for them to play on along with a flying fox that’s always popular. It makes for a great spot for a picnic; simply bring some food and drink and relax amongst the greenery while the kids burn off their energy. The track through the gardens culminates in a cemetery that features some truly remarkable grave stones and emits an atmosphere of peace, and is well worth a quick look if you aren’t the type to find it depressing. Featuring a wide variation of native NZ and exotic plants of nearly endless varieties spread out over a massive 62 acre area, there’s something for everyone who can appreciate natural beauty at Wellington Botanical Gardens.