As New Zealand’s only botanic garden dedicated solely to native plants, Ōtari-Wilton’s Bush encompasses 100 hectares of native forest, with five hectares of plant collections containing around 1,200 species, hybrids, and cultivars. The collections include plants from New Zealand’s mainland and offshore islands.
Among some of the gentler tracks is the Circular Trail. It descends to the Troup Picnic Area beside Kaiwharawhara Stream. The shared open space is a sun trap, and its barbeque facilities make for great picnics. The Blue Trail is a little more challenging, with some steeper terrain. But it is well worth the effort to see an 800-year-old rimu.
Otari-Wilton’s Bush is five kilometres from the city centre, at 160 Wilton Road (between Gloucester and Warwick streets). It is open all year round from dawn to dusk.
The main public car park is at the Wilton Road entrance, and parking is also available off Churchill Drive.
Take the Number 14 Wilton bus from Lambton Quay to Otari-Wilton’s Bush. Timetables are available on the Metlink website.