I recently visited the Wellington Botanic Gardens for the first time, but since I was only there for an hour or two I didn’t get to see all of it (hence the ‘Part 1’). I wanted to write a bit about the parts that I did see and show some of the pictures I took of the beautiful place!
Lady Norwood Rose Garden: After walking along a path leading from close to where I live I first came upon the rose garden. It was very beautiful and seemingly well kept, and there were many varieties of roses to look at.
Begonia House: Next to the rose garden is the Begonia House, which houses tropical and temperate plants. There were of course Begonias, but also Orchids, Lotus, and Lilies as well!
Herb Garden: Walking uphill away from the rose garden and begonia house I found a small herb garden. There were signs every so often giving information about the uses of herbs throughout human history…very interesting! I noticed that a lot of what they had in their herb garden were plants I am familiar with from home as well.
Peace Garden: Before going back up the trail towards my house, I sat awhile in the Peace Garden. There were a few ducks swimming around, and it was a very tranquil place to be. In the small pond there was what they call a ‘peace flame.’ This flame was gifted to New Zealand from Japan after WWII because of New Zealand’s commitment against atomic weapons.
Kia Ora! I’ve been in New Zealand for a little over a week now (sorry for anyone who has been waiting for a post!) and I feel like I’ve already taken in so much and learned so much about Kiwi culture, and about New Zealand in general. This beautiful country is similar to where I’m from in a few ways, but much more different than I expected! Here are just a few things I have learned during my first days as a Kiwi…
- I am loud: At home I am considered very quiet and reserved, but in New Zealand even I feel loud and obnoxious sometimes. I notice it in the way I order food or coffee, or the way I talk with my new friends. I’m talking how I think is normal, but compared to the locals around me I’m very loud and it makes me feel kind of uncomfortable! I guess I’ll have to work on being… even more quiet?
- Opossums are bad: At some point Opossums were introduced to New Zealand from Australia, and they have since caused lots of problems. Since New Zealand does not naturally have mammals (besides a few bats), the native species never built defenses to survive against such predators. Birds like the Kiwi bird are often in danger of being found by an opossum when they are young, and until a few years old they do not have any defenses to help them survive. I was also told that opossums carry diseases that can cause entire herds of cattle or sheep to be quarantined and, as one person put it, ‘destroyed’.
These are just a few of the interesting things I’ve learned and experienced while in New Zealand, and I can’t wait to see what other things I will learn about while I’m here! Keep checking back for new posts, and thanks for reading!