Welcome spring by checking out the country's largest number of blossom trees in one spot.
September 08, 2022
If you've always longed to be in Japan for the annual Hanami celebrations, this might be the next best thing to experience — without boarding an international flight. Each year from mid-September to early October, Upper Hutt's garden centre welcomes spring with acres of picture-perfect cherry blossoms. This 14-acre private garden is about a half-hour drive from Wellington's CBD and is home to the country's highest and densest population of cherry blossoms in one spot.
This year, it was all meant to kick off on September 15, but the Aston Norwood team have announced that with the mild winter weather, the blossoms decided to make an earlier-than-expected appearance about a week ahead of schedule. Rest assured a great display of blossoms is still expected to be flowering right through until early October — but better to be safe rather than sorry, and get in early.
If you really want to feel like you've stepped into a scene from A Midsummer's Night's Dream, head along once the sun goes down. For the second year running, the Aston Norwood team is bringing back their popular night viewing experience, Blossom Valley After Dark. A light trail through a portion of the gardens will be lit up at night, offering a completely different experience to the daytime.
Whether you go in the day or in the evening, we recommend taking a picnic or just grabbing some snacks from the new and improved outdoor food area at the gardens. This year they're upping the food offering: there will be real fruit ice cream, barista-made coffee, a bar service and even some merchandise for sale.
Tickets are only $10 for adults and the kids can head in for free, so gather the troops for a day out with family or friends this weekend.