The Visitor Centre is an excellent starting point for exploring the Gardens. Ask our friendly staff for guidance on seasonal highlights or collect a map.

COVID-19 update: The Botanic Gardens is closed

The Government is asking for everyone to stay at home. Their advice is that you can go for a walk or exercise outdoors for a short time, but to stick to simple walks or exercise spots close to home. 

We’ve closed all of our Council facilities until further notice, to support the Government’s fight against COVID-19. This includes the Botanic Gardens.

The following are also closed:

  • Public toilets.
  • Playgrounds, play equipment or exercise equipment in parks.
  • Car parks within parks.
  • Visitor and information centres.
  • The Spencer Park animal area and fenced dog parks.
  • All Council-owned sports facilities

Unite Against Covid-19, visit

Visitor Centre

The Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre houses a function room, the ilex café and a permanent exhibition that tells the story of Christchurch and Canterbury through plants and gardening.(external link) Our gift shop sells an array of botanical, garden and nature-inspired giftware and souvenirs. To contact staff in our Visitor Centre or gift shop call (03) 941 7590.

The Visitor Centre is also home to the operational side of the Gardens, with a working nursery, reference library, herbarium and potting sheds.

Take a tour of the Visitor Centre


Since opening in 2014, the building has attracted favourable attention in the world of architecture. Industry awards include an award in the Public Architecture category at the Canterbury Architecture Awards in 2015. The awards are run by the New Zealand Institute of Architects.