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Published: April 9th 2018
Cable car leaving the station.
Wellington, New Zealand, April 6 ,2018 – Weather forecast: sunny with scattered clouds; temperature 20°C, wind gusting to 38kts (8 Beaufort)
We decided to take the day off from doing any of the ship excursions and went exploring Wellington on our own. This meant that we could take things at a more leisurely pace and didn’t have to rush through breakfast.
The local port authority didn’t want us walking around the pier area as this again was a commercial cargo port so shuttle busses were proved that took us directly to the downtown area. The bus drop off/pick up point was conveniently located a short distance from the cable car that we wanted to ride anyway. The cable car climbs 120 meters up to the Wellington Botanical Gardens, an observatory and a meteorological station that overlook the city.
The 25-hectare gardens were established in 1868 under the management of the New Zealand Institute. They planted the majority of the conifer species which are located throughout the preserve and many of them are still alive today. These trees were part of a programme to import plant species and
Almost at the top!
assess their economic potential for the new colony.
Since 1891 the Wellington City Council has managed the garden and have expanded it to include the Lady Norwood Rose Garden, the Treehouse Visitor Centre, the Begonia House, shop and café. The gardens also incorporate the Bolton Street Cemetery, which in fact was administered for 50 years as three separate cemeteries – one each for the Church of England, Jewish and public. The cemetery is closed, expect for new burials in existing family plots. When a new four lane highway was built in the late 1960’s part of the cemetery grounds were disturbed and 3700 graves were exhumed and the remains were reburied in a large vault beneath the Early Settlers Memorial Lawn.
After taking a leisurely paced stroll down the winding paths through the garden we ended up at the café situated beside the Lady Norwood Rose Garden and had our lunch before walking past the Parliament buildings, one of them being known as the Beehive, and then heading off to the shuttle bus and our return to the ship.
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