There are many reasons to love New Zealand’s capital city:
and museums (including Te Papa, the national museum),
cable cars, hilly terrain and panoramic views,
ethnic diversity, fantastic shopping, and fine dining. [According to AA Travel Magazine, there are more cafes and restaurants per head in Wellington than in New York City.]
For me, the highlight was the Botanic Garden of Wellington. In fact, I loved it so much that I visited twice during our three day/two night stay.
It was easy to get to the garden. I took the [fully accessible] Wellington Cable Car up the hill to the Kelburn Lookout, and then followed the trail of painted pink flowers
all the way to Lady Norwood Rose Garden and the Begonia House Gift Shop.
(For an expanded, pdf version of the map, click here.)
My journal notes:
“I set off for the Botanical Gardens; up the hill one more time via cable car. This time, I followed the pink flower trail from the top of the hill, winding through beautiful, fragrant gardens. Oh, I am SO happy! …
I stopped early in the walk to write about my sensory experience …
1. Smell: Lilies and many other lovely scents, most of which I could not identify. Rosemary; sage in the herb garden.
2. Taste: Lingering taste of the orange I ate before the walk; refreshing water.
3. Touch: Tired feet, and sometimes small rocks inside my shoes; warm – almost hot – sun on my face and arms, even through the clothing and hat; periodically a cool breeze; the weight of my backpack; the smooth rub of sage leaves, and the familiar “fondling” of rosemary.
4. Sound: Insects that sound like a Rainbird sprinkler; people laughing and/or talking (some in English, others in tongues that are foreign to me); faint traffic noise, and the distant drone of an airplane; birds chirping and flying.
5. Sight: Sunlight, bright or dappled; a few people – all ages – and some well-behaved dogs; pink flower path to guide me; and COLOR!! Pink and white and red and yellow and green and brown and black and purple and orange. Beautiful!
I drained the batteries in both cameras with all the photos and close-ups I took.”
While there were some parts of the garden that were not wheelchair accessible, and while some of the trails were on a bit of an incline (which would give a self-propelled wheelchair user a bit of a workout), most of this garden was accessible. And, in my mind, a not-to-be-missed experience in Wellington!