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. A temperate climate supports thousands of plants, gathered from around the world and across New Zealand since 1863.
Some of the largest, tallest and oldest trees in New Zealand can be found here. The gardens host spectacular colour and form, intriguing artworks, and memorial plantings that celebrate events from local and international history. Introduced species remind us of faraway places, and native plants take us to the bush, the mountains and the wetlands of Aotearoa. The Christchurch Botanic Gardens showcase some of the flora of New Zealand and other parts of the world.
Towering majestic trees - many over 120 years old - dominate the gardens, forming a striking backdrop to the extensive themed plant collections and sweeping lawns. A loop of the gently-flowing Avon River, criss-crossed by bridges, encloses a large part of the gardens while the adjacent 164 hectare Hagley Park enhances its natural splendour.
The gardens are an oasis in the city of Christchurch - 21 hectares of horticultural displays, several conservatories, memorials, garden art and walking tracks.
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 celebrates its 150th anniversary.
Events throughout 2013 will celebrate 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.
For information on other events in the Botanic Gardens in 2013 click here.
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.
The following buildings are still closed because of earthquake damage: The Botanic Gardens Cafe, Bandsmen's Memorial Rotunda and conservatories.
Phone: (03) 941 8999
Fax : (03) 941 8267