Kate Sheppard Memorial Walk

Start: Armagh Street entrance car park.

Finish: Riccarton Avenue entrance car park.

Distance: 400m.

Time: 10 minutes one way.

Dogs: On leash.

Shared use: No, the track is too muddy and narrow for bicycles.


In 1893 New Zealand became the first self governing country in the world where women achieved the right to vote. For suffrage leader Kate Sheppard and her thousands of supporters, the white camellia as a symbol of women's suffrage in New Zealand when parliamentary supporters were given them to wear in their buttonholes. Those in parliament against the movement wore red camellias in opposition.

The beginning of a memorial walk was laid out in 1990 when women's groups around New Zealand donated 100 camellias to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. In 1993 the Kate Sheppard Memorial Walk was officially opened to commemorate 100 years of women's suffrage in New Zealand and a new species of white camellia, the 'Kate Sheppard' was unveiled. Plaques acknowledging the groups who so generously donated camellias and seating can be found along the walkway.

Enter the walk from the Armagh Street car park entrance to the Botanic Gardens and meander along the river path surrounded by camellia bushes. Take care on the path as it is narrow and often slippery. Camellias bloom from late August to late September but the walk is a pleasant shady one any other time of the year.