Gardens of New Zealand - back

Public gardens and parks, free for everyone, are found throughout New Zealand. Numerous private gardens, open to visitors for a fee, may also be found.

Gardening always scores high in any survey of new Zealanders' favourite pursuits. We love our gardens and we love showing them to others. On our site you'll find public gardens, free for everyone. We also list some of the many private gardens which welcome visitors.

One of the joys of visiting New Zealand gardens is their variety. Different styles of gardens have evolved to suit climate, location and lifestyle. Early settlers planted gardens similar to those they left in England, but they quickly learned the value of native plants and trees for providing shelter belts.

Cottage gardens are still popular, particularly around older wooden villas. Formal gardens, adapted from English, French and Italian designs, complement modern houses and large, older houses such as Ohinetahi, near Christchurch.

Subtropical gardens flourish in the north. Low maintenance bush gardens are becoming more popular; combining native groundcovers, ferns and indigenous trees, they highlight the natural New Zealand style.

In cities, gardens are changing, too. With more in-fill housing, gardens are becoming smaller. Instead of being planned around lawns, they are more likely to be designed around courtyards.

Public Gardens

New Zealand cities and towns take pride in their public gardens which usually include fine specimen trees, formal plantings, herbaceous borders, native areas, water features, theme gardens, picnic areas and children's playgrounds.

Auckland has several public gardens, including gardens specialising in roses, camellias and native plants.

The Hamilton Gardens include theme gardens such as The Chinese Scholar's Garden and The American Modernist Garden.

Gisborne, Rotorua, Napier and Hastings all have fine public parks and gardens. In the West, New Plymouth is renowned for rhododendrons, and Wanganui has two beautiful parks featuring lakes.

The Wellington Botanic Gardens are a lovely retreat in the heart of the city, and the Otari Wilton's Bush Gardens feature walking tracks among indigenous plants.

Blenheim and Nelson in the north of the South Island have attractive Botanic Gardens. Nelson's historic houses and gardens and the peaceful Miyazu Japanese Gardens are also worth visiting.

Christchurch, known as the Garden City, has outstanding private and public gardens. The Avon River flows through both the Botanic Gardens and Mona Vale.

The public gardens of Ashburton, Timaru and Oamaru feature mature trees and informal and formal planting. Timaru has recently opened the Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden, honouring a rose grower of world renown.

Dunedin's Botanic Garden is the oldest in the country and renowned for its rhododendron display in November. Glenfalloch Woodland Garden on the Otago Peninsula is also popular with visitors.

Anderson Park and Queens Park are attractive and extensive public gardens in Invercargill.