Ecological zones of the Wellington region
People who live in the Wellington region know it's an interesting, varied place. From the mild Kapiti Coast, through the hot, dry Wairarapa plains, to the rugged, windswept southern coast and the cooler, moister upper Hutt Valley hills, variations in climate and landscape have produced local differences in plants found there.
We have divided the Region into 14 zones, reflecting the mix of environmental factors that make these parts of the Region ecologically distinctive from each other. The interactive map above shows these zones.
In addition to information about each of the 14 zones, there is also an extra page about moist or wet places wherever they occur in the region. We've identified and recommended native plants that will flourish in boggy gardens, beside streams and other damp places throughout the Region.
Zone pages each contain the following information:
A map showing where the zone is in the region, and the names of some settlements and suburbs within the zone.
A description of soil and climatic conditions present in the zone.
This information is useful for you to know when choosing and establishing plants. A series of symbols helps signal the sorts of plants to look for in the Main List that will grow in the conditions experienced in the zone.
This is a summary of the zone's landscape character, plus an historical picture of what the zone might have looked like before forest clearance and other landscape modification.
For each zone we've recommended a selection of plants for a variety of reasons. All are, or used to be, naturally occurring in that zone. Some are still abundant (karamu), some are scarce (pingao), or even critically threatened in the region ( Melicytus obovatus). All contribute to Wellington’s indigenous biodiversity. For more suggestions see the main plant list.
On the zone pages, we have chosen to use common names wherever possible, or brief descriptions. Botanical names are listed where common or Maori names are not specific enough. The Main List has common, Maori and botanical names, plus information about "heritage trees" and "niche" plants.