The Full New Zealand Experience

Some have commented we’ve had the “full New Zealand experience” … sunny beaches, floods, fingernail biting car trips through the mountains, wine tasting … a cyclone – we even had a bit of an earthquake the other night. But there is another way to look at this. We’ve had a very unusual New Zealand experience. Everyone tells us this is the wettest New Zealand summer in memory. Cyclones are not exactly an everyday experience here. And now we’ve arrived in Wellington and the weather is looking fantastic – sunny and warm-ish. Apparently this is very unusual for Wellington, but we’ll take it.

It was a short drive today so we arrived in Wellington early afternoon. Our room was ready, so we were able to check in, unpack, and visit the botanical garden a short walk from out hotel. We’ve been trying to learn the names of the plants we were seeing, but we kept hitting snags. You know, the usual stuff – floods, cyclones and such. So when everything lined up today, we went for it. As you know, I like taking nature pictures, so this will be a long post. If you don’t like trees and flowers, this would be a good time to change the channel.

I’ll start with a magnolia blossom – not native, but still beautiful.

There oh so many conifer trees here, though apparently they are not native. Note how on this one the cones seem to grow right out of the large branches., which is something I’ve never seen before.

The bee in this picture is the size of a bumble bee and the colouring is close, but not quite right.

The botanical garden had so much lush growth. The next two pictures give you a sense of it.

The botanical garden has many native plants, but also many that are non-native. These were in the succulents section.

And here are three plants unlike anything I’ve ever seen before (note the blue sky). If anyone knows what these plants are, I’d love to know.

The botanical garden is right in the city of Wellington, but you’d think you were in the wilderness. This picture gives you a sense of this.

Flowers … so many flowers.

Mushrooms have their own kind of beauty, though I’m sure this isn’t one of the things that was intentionally included in the botanical garden.

Fun fact. For the past two weeks we’ve been seeing a tree that kind of looked familiar, but we had no idea what it was. Today we learned the answer. Norfolk Island pine. At home we grow them indoors and they grow a few feet high. But here…

We keep seeing things we have never seen before, and then we saw something we thought was unique to North America. Monarch butterflies. Turns out they are native to New Zealand as well. See if you can spot the Monarch.

Two more pictures from the botanical garden.

I’ll leave you with a picture of Agapanthus, which we can’t grow at home, but which grows everywhere here – along the paths, in the ditches, everywhere. At home the closest thing is the Tiger Lilly.

Tomorrow we will see what else Wellington has to offer.

About If It Was Today

Eat, Drink, Travel, Write...
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1 Response to The Full New Zealand Experience

  1. Jane says:

    Absolutely beautiful… I was thinking of a visit to the miracle garden in Dubai.. how different will that be?
    You know you can change your return flight home right???

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