Planning your trip

Karori Map

You may wish to spread your time over the two days of the trail as your ticket covers the full period.

You are able to visit each garden once only and your ticket will be clipped at each garden accordingly. Your ticket includes entry to ZEALANDIA.

If you have not visited ZEALANDIA before, allow at least 1-2 hours to savour its wonders. (Note: Last entry is at 4pm and you must comply with ZEALANDIA’S simple biosecurity arrangements as a condition of entry).

Public toilets: available in the Square opposite the Karori Mall (next to the Public Library), Karori Park (400 Karori Road), Ben Burn Park (Campbell St) and at ZEALANDIA.

Cafés: three excellent cafés will be open on both days of the trail – One Fat Bird at 162 Karori Road, Rata Café at ZEALANDIA and Karori Park Café (inside the main entrance to Karori Park).

  1. ZEALANDIA, 53 Waiapu  Road Wellington’s extraordinary 225 hectare wildlife sanctuary has an abundance of native fauna and flora featuring tuatara, verdant bush and thriving birdlife. Karori Lions has a long and continuing association with Zealandia.
  1. A wonderful garden from the front. The street frontage features rose and flower gardens, but come behind the scenes. Walk through the gate and down the berry path to see raised gardens, worm farms and a glasshouse surrounded by a carpet of green lawn.  An exercise in using the space of a suburban section. Plant and veggie pots will be available for purchase.   Proceeds to the community through Karori Lions.
  1. The present owners have capitalised on previous landscaping to create a garden with the trees and plants that they love, which include a ginkgo, dogwoods, weeping pear tree, maples, roses, perennials, hellebores and hostas and clivias just to mention a few.  Enjoy a wander down the sloping path to the exquisite garden area below.
  1. A wonderful example of how best to make the most of limited space, featuring native trees and ferns including totara, rewarewa, pohutukawa, kahikatea, kowhai, putaputaweta and corokia. Tui, kaka, kereru, fantail and bellbird Amazingly private.
  1. For something different, view this property from a child’s perspective – of particular interest for parents and grandparents with pre-school children. Karori Kindergarten uses its garden to instil values and awareness of sustainability in the children, including a worm farm for recycling, a cascade of dams and water channels powered by solar energy and growing greens for their enormous resident rabbit. Enjoy Head Teacher Janice’s enthusiasm while she makes you a cup of tea.
  1. Walk up the long drive in the largest remaining and central portion of the historic Donald Tea Gardens, active in the 1870s. The grounds contain many of the original paths and a lime tree reputed to have been planted by Sir George Grey. Gardens feature an eclectic mix of natives and early settlers’ choices of their best loved trees from ‘home’.
  1. This bijou garden utilises every corner to create a blaze of colour with roses, diverse seasonal plants, herbs and grasses. Not to be missed.
  1. Walk into a courtyard which is part of an old-fashioned cottage garden with many unusual plants and various types of ferns and foliage. View some 50 different types of old-fashioned roses and an oak tree which dates back to the 1920s. Climb the rear terrace for a better look.
  1. Cheryl and Paul are passionate about the environment and strive to make a minimal impact on the planet. You will love some of the quirky surprises that have evolved from their knack for seeing the artistic potential in discarded items. Prepare to meet their geriatric dog, Thelma, and three hens, while wandering around the much loved garden.
  1. A treasured gem which we have featured before and do so again without apology. The original Willow Grove cottage was on the early dairy farm and featured in Katherine Mansfield’s stories. The property features cottage plants, peonies, roses, plieonies, orchids, delphiniums, veggies, handmade ceramics and water features.
  1. This 1930s property is a wonderful example of a sloping section. The front garden is divided into three zones – grass, native and perennials. To the rear of the house is the family garden with open spaces bordered by a variety of trees and shrubs for privacy. Venture to the very rear and pass through the gate in the fence, climb a few steep steps and you are rewarded with a seat surrounded by native bush and clear views to the Remutakas.
  1. At the front of the property a traditional combination of buxus and roses complement the 1930s house with clay-tiled roof while the rear of the property is functional with herbs, vegetables and an entertaining and family area. Around the house a combination of camelias, rhododendrons and hydrangeas add a splash of colour. Fruit trees and flowers interspersed add interest and seasonal variation.