Joy Fountain, Main Garden


The Garden has much to interest, entertain and engage our younger generation, in many areas within this garden. 

Children by Magnolia Bank around  1935 (Magnolia x soulangeana planted 1928)

Video grabs (below)  from Peter Jackson's  film 'Brain Dead'  shot here in 1992
More pictures ands a link to the video is available at  the page Brain Dead

ildren's playground                 

Approximately half way between the Cable Car entrance and the Treehouse is the main Childrens Playground.  Meet Old Man Wellington (carved with a chainsaw from an old pine tree stump) and find the giant tuatara.  Enjoy the slide and exciting flying fox, plus the other activities. There are toilets, and a shelter for the oldies. 
Film maker Peter Jackson filmed a scene from "Brain Dead" in this area.


In the Main Garden, with its resident population of ducks, free entertainment is provided.  The ducks enjoy a meal, but during school holidays do  not overfeed.  When there is bread lying on the water, please do not add more as it only attracts rats. 

Joy Fountain


With its water spouting frogs (funded by the Friends), this fountain fascinates even grown up children


Fountain Rose Garden

With ducks often present to entertain.  In spring in nesting season, young ducklings can often be seen, but please do not chace or try and catch as their mothers will not be pleased!!

Glow worms

For a night time visit, see the glow worms resident in the garden.  From autumn to early spring, the Friends run regular tours in the evenings to see these fascinating insects.

Click to see details of glowworm  tours

Sundial of Human Involvement

At the rear of the Carter Observatory is the Sundial of Human Involvement. This sundial is a lot of fun to view, and instructions for its use are shown. Children can take turns to be the pointer, and tell the time.   It is accurate to the within a few minutes, and no corrections for daylight saving are required as the bronze indicators on the granite columns are moved twice a year.

Constructed to commemorate the 150 anniversary of the Plimmer Family in Wellington, its construction was funded by the Charles Plimmer Trust. Designed by Peter Kundycki a Landscape Architect and Sculpture with WCC it is dedicated to John Plimmer , a founding father of Wellington It is known as an analemmatic sundial . This type of sundial is rare worldwide and unique in New Zealand. The 15 columns are constructed from rough hewn granite with inlaid recycled gunmetal bronze hour numbers which are moved at the beginning and end of daylight saving. Follow the instructions and see how accurate it is.