Wondering around the Wellington Botanic Garden there were dozens of these cabbage trees dotted around. They are officially called Cordyline australis (but cabbage tree is much easier to spell and say). These wide branched trees are unique to New Zealand and can grow up to 20 metres tall. This particular tree was next to the Carter Observatory. What caught my eye here was the way that the late afternoon sunlight was lighting up the leaves of the tree.
Austroderia is a species of tall grass native to New Zealand. It is more commonly known as Toetoe, pronounced and often misspelled as toitoi. As you can see from this photograph it is closely related to the South American species Pampas Grass. Sadly, Pampas has been introduced in New Zealand and often takes over the native toetoe. This photograph was taken at Stonehenge Aotearoa just a couple of hours drive north of Wellington.
The Great Otway National Park just off the Great Ocean Road in Australia has a huge range of landscapes and thick vegetation. It wasn’t till I came to this diverse country that I got to properly appreciate boardwalks such as this one, winding its way around a small section of the huge ferns in this temperate rainforest.
In Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens I came across what seemed to be a secret garden hidden off the main path. This cottage was built in 1850 to house the people who looked after the gardens. It is a traditional wooden 19th century home that you see a lot of in and around Melbourne. I thought that the garden in the foreground was worth including as the plants seem to frame the cottage nicely.
Many of the major cities in Australia seem to have fantastic parks and gardens where locals come jogging, cycling, walking and sun bathing (although not so much of the sun bathing in winter). Above is Brisbane City Botanic Gardens just by the river on an area known as Gardens Point. As you can see from the buildings in the background, it is close to the central business district of the city. The gardens include special collections of palms, figs and bamboo.