One thing I love about New Zealand is the abundance of huge, free parks in the cities. Seems as though each major city has its own domain, or large park, with a variety of trails and gardens within it. The Auckland Domain not only has large open green spaces, a rugby field, lots of trails and small outdoor gardens, but also a greenhouse known as the Wintergarden.
The Wintergarden actually consist of two greenhouses, a courtyard with a large pond and a large fern garden. The greenhouse’s are amazing. They are full of a variety of flowers that leap out at you from every direction. I’ve visited lots of gardens in the United States, and while many of them are larger than the one in Auckland this one is the most colorful I’ve ever seen.
The greenhouses are uncomfortably warm, but if it is a cold day it’s a great way to escape from the cold. The first glasshouse, the cool house, contains temperate plants. It was my favorite greenhouse – stock full of bright sunflowers, lilies, begonias, and other annuals and perennials. The cool greenhouse was the first constructed in 1921 and was the first part of the Wintergarden in the Auckland Domain.
The tropical house is located across the courtyard and contains plants I’m accustomed to seeing in gardens in Florida. There were orchids, lobster claws and lots of big leafy plants. The temperature is said to be the same in both greenhouses, but I thought the tropical house was much warmer and I had to escape to the cool air of the courtyard.
In between the cool house and the tropical house is a courtyard with benches and a lily pond. This is a perfect spot for a picnic or wedding photos.
After going to the garden I showed the pictures to a lady who worked at my hotel. She was curious about the gardens that she had never visited. She was surprised that such a beautiful attraction was so close to her and FREE. This is a great family trip, if you live in Auckland check it out. The flowers change with the season so you can go several times a year without getting bored.
The Wintergarden was my favorite part of the Auckland Domain, but there is so much more to enjoy. We walked down the trail, aptly named, Lover’s Lane, which took us along a stream and deep into the woods. There is also a War Memorial Museum and next to it you can get fantastic views of Auckland’s skyline and the Skytower.