Mon - Sun 7.30am - 8.00pm (in summer) or 5.30pm (in winter)
(07) 838 6782
Hamilton Gardens was opened in 1960. Before this time, the site was a pre-European Pa, a British military post, Victorian rifle-range and dog-dosing station. Needless to say, this piece of land has had an interesting history.
The Gardens are a masterpiece of foliage divided into five sections - Paradise, Productive, Fantasy, Cultivar and Landscape. Each section works like a gallery, with different exhibits (aka gardens), cultivated to show something about gardens and our relationship to them.
The ‘Paradise Collection’ of international gardens is a favourite among visitors, and feels like a trip through five countries in an afternoon, with an Italian Renaissance Garden, Japanese garden of contemplation, the Chinese Scholar’s Garden, a traditional English flower garden and an Indian ‘Char Bagh’. You can also go for a longer walk through the ‘landscape collection’, and enjoy the beautiful Waikato River that weaves through the property.
Hamilton Gardens have won a number of prestigious awards, including the International Garden of the Year award, at the International Garden Tourism Network (IGTN) conference in France in October 2014, as well as Outstanding Park of 2016 by the NZ Recreation Association.
Hamilton Gardens is more than just a botanical garden, but was built to tell a story about gardens, and their development across time in cultures around the world. “The concept has also been compared to a museum, where each garden collection has historic integrity and provides a window into the story of civilisations, their arts, beliefs and lifestyles.”
Committed to the environment with a range of sustainable practices, this dreamy Garden is well worth the visit and is the perfect destination for a picnic, a wander, and an escape from the city.
Words by Abbey Egden & Photography by Naomi Haussmann