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Last reviewed: Sun, 13 Apr 2014

The Christchurch Botanic Gardens

Photo of visitors among the maples.

Welcome to the Botanic Gardens

In a loop of the Avon River, bordered on three sides by the green expanse of Hagley Park, are the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. More than 1.1 million visitors come to the gardens each year, making them one of the city’s most popular attractions.

The gardens are at the heart of Christchurch’s reputation as the Garden City.

The gardens are open every day of the year at 7am, and admission is free.

Map of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens [PDF 1MB]

Christchurch Botanic Gardens walking guide [PDF 3.93MB]

Celebrating 150 years at Christchurch’s heart

From a solitary oak planted in 1863 the gardens have flourished, becoming the heart of the garden city. Through depression, war and earthquakes the gardens remain a jewel in the centre of Christchurch, a permanent monument to the beauty of the natural world and a symbol of growth and renewal. The gardens now feature one of the finest collections of exotic and native plants in New Zealand. In 2013, Christchurch Botanic Gardens celebrated its 150th anniversary.

Events throughout 2013 celebrated the growth and successes of the gardens. Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker launched the start of the anniversary with the planting of the rare Wollemi Pine, a tree found in the fossil record dating to 200 million years ago and thought to be extinct. Christchurch’s Wollemi Pine is the first to be planted in New Zealand and is the start of what will become the Gondwana Garden, an innovative new feature that will recreate an environment here in Christchurch similar to the forests that grew during the Jurassic period when the continents of the southern hemisphere were joined together, forming a super continent known as Gondwanaland.

Earthquake damage at the Botanic Gardens

The Botanic Gardens rode out the earthquakes well. On 22 February 2011 during the fatal 6.3 earthquake many people took refuge in the open spaces in the Botanic Gardens. The gardens are as beautiful as ever although grounds and irrigation systems were damaged. Lakes drained as impermeable bases were cracked. Garden paths were also damaged. Staff have worked hard to bring the gardens back to what they were and although several buildings are still damaged the gardens are just as memorable and serene as ever.


Contact us

Phone: (03) 941 8999
Fax : (03) 941 8267


Authorising Unit: Transport and Greenspace

Last reviewed: Sunday, 13 April 2014

Next review: Sunday, 13 July 2014

Keywords: botanic gardens

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