Gardens to visit in each season

What is the best season to visit Hamilton Gardens?

Planning a visit to Hamilton Gardens but want to know what time of year is best? You’ve come to the right place.

The extraordinary Hamilton Gardens offers visitors a unique experience across every season, and we recommend visiting in any season, but to help you plan your visit, we’ve put together a list of our top three gardens to visit in Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring.

From the vibrant hues of autumn to the fresh blooms of spring, each garden has its own seasonal highlights that are not to be missed. Here is a list of some of our favourite seasonal highlights.

Looking through leaves at the Te Parapara traditional Maori Garden at Hamilton Gardens

Gardens to visit in summer (December – February)

New Zealand’s only Maaori productive garden - Te Parapara Garden

In summer, you’ll see New Zealand’s only traditional Maaori productive garden, Te Parapara Garden at its very best.

Te Parapara uses techniques that have been passed down through the generations and showcases the skills required to grow tropical crops such as kuumara in a colder climate. Bring the sunscreen, a hat and a water bottle, in summer, this garden comes alive with the vibrant greenery of traditionally planted kuumara varieties and Maaori carvings adorning this uniquely Kiwi experience.

A close up of the fountain at Hamilton Gardens' English Flower Garden

The traditional English Flower Garden

In summer, we recommend stepping into the English Flower Garden to be transported to a realm of timeless beauty.

The English Flower Garden evokes an era which valued craftsmanship and simple forms, known for ‘gardens of a golden afternoon’ and is the perfect way to spend a summer afternoon.

Here, amidst the manicured lawn and curated flower beds, summer blooms reign supreme. A fan-favourite for picnicking, the English Flower Garden is at its fragrant-best in summer with its stunning collection of traditional English blossoms nestled amongst its stunning pond.


The entry to the Italian Renaissance garden at Hamilton Gardens

Experience a sun-kissed summer in the Italian Renaissance Garden

Summer brings the sun-kissed landscapes of Italy to you as you wander through the romantic Italian Renaissance Garden.

A favourite for summer weddings, this is a garden of princes and poets that celebrates ancient myths and divine symmetry in a series of unfolding spaces.

Lose yourself in the timeless charm of this Mediterranean oasis, where every corner reveals a new delight for the senses. Take a moment and head up to the balcony to oversee the passers by amongst the blooms under a shaded canopy.

Don’t forget to bring your camera – the Italian Renaissance is a favourite spot for photographers, with its vibrant water features providing the perfect contrast to its stunning architecture.

The Japanese Garden of Contemplation looking out over the pond in Autumn

Gardens to visit in autumn (March – May)

Experience quiet serenity in the Japanese Garden of Contemplation

In autumn, the Japanese Garden of Contemplation, known for its serene and lush green beauty, undergoes a breathtaking transformation.

With its foliage bursting into vibrant shades of red and gold, casting enchanting reflections in the tranquil waters of the garden, this garden is magical to visit in autumn.

As the season turns, the Japanese Garden of Contemplation inspires quiet self-reflection and contemplation without distraction.

With covered seating, this is a wonderful location to spend time to rest and relax while you wander through the gardens.

Looking across the Tudor Gardens at Hamilton Gardens

Discover the magnificence of Tudor Garden

In autumn, the Tudor Garden is a wonderful tribute to the ornate beauty of 16th-century England.

Inspired by the drawings of renowned gardener Thomas Hill, this garden celebrates the Tudors’ love of intricate designs, fantasy beasts, and secret symbols. Continuing its vibrant evergreen colour scheme in autumn, Tudor Garden is a wonderful contrast to the changing seasons hues.

Admire the pudding pavilion, stroll beneath the shipbuilder’s arbour, and meander through the knot garden for a wonderful morning in autumn.

An adult holding a child in front of the giant door in the Surrealist garden at Hamilton Gardens

The Surrealist Garden

The Surrealist Garden is a delight to visit in autumn, with its lush foliage offering a vibrant contrast to the changing landscape and providing a hidden haven of tranquillity.

A favourite for our youngest visitors, and the young at heart, this majestic garden twists and turns – literally – captivating all who step foot amongst the quirky sculptures and hidden treasures.

The evergreen shrubs provide a stunning backdrop against the autumn colours and have a hidden delight around every corner for all visitors to enjoy.

Two adults and two children standing on the bridge looking at the Tropical Garden in Hamilton Gardens

Gardens to visit in winter (June – August)

Escape winter in the lush Tropical Garden

Leave chilly winter behind while you escape to a vibrant oasis of colour and warmth in the Tropical Garden.

Here, lush palms, vibrant aloes, and exotic birds of paradise create a tropical paradise that thrives year-round. Its bright walls offset the colours of the Tropical Garden to bring a warmth and excitement during winter.

Looking across the pond of the Ancient Egyptian Garden at Hamilton Gardens

Uncover hieroglyphics in the Ancient Egyptian Garden

Your first stop for a visit to Hamilton Gardens in winter should be the Ancient Egyptian Garden.

Here you’ll see a replica of a temple garden from the Middle Kingdom era, with columns reaching to the sky and hieroglyphics providing a safe passage for souls entering the afterlife.

The vibrancy of this garden is the ideal antidote to the cool winter hues, and with colourful imagery and hieroglyphics are a great interactive experience for those visiting with kids.

Experience traditional native flora and fauna at Concept Garden

A traditional kiwi garden which looks amazing throughout winter, the Concept Garden offers a thought-provoking stroll in winter months.

New Zealand native ferns and flowers provide a muted colour palette that perfectly pairs with the subtlety of winter, and its calm pond shrouded in a blanket of fog can be quite a mesmerising moment.

Taking inspiration from a map and its key, the Concept Garden possesses an admirable array of New Zealand grasses and tussock grassland. Just beyond, see if you can spy the Huddleston Airship overhead as you wander through the Concept Garden in winter.

Four adults taking photos and looking out across the Indian Char Bagh Garden at Hamilton Gardens

Gardens to visit in spring (September – November)

Experience the best at the Indian Charbagh Garden

In spring, you can marvel at the vibrant hues of the Indian Charbagh Garden, a Mughal-inspired paradise which features symmetrical layouts, flowing water channels, and colourful seasonal plants.

You’ll find a Persian-style carpet of mass flowers in a grid pattern, with precious water providing vital sustenance in this display of a Charbagh (four garden). 

This aromatic garden is a springtime delight, and a very popular garden in peak times so we recommend arriving early. 

Looking across the pond of the Traditional Chinese Garden at Hamilton Gardens with people in the background

Find tranquillity in the traditional Chinese Garden

Step into a world of serenity and harmony in the Traditional Chinese Garden in spring. Cascading waterfalls serenade your senses, koi ponds reflect the clear blue sky, and meticulously pruned bonsai trees embody the essence of nature's artistry. 

Take a stroll along the carefully designed pathways that lead you through a captivating landscape, showcasing the principles of balance and tranquillity that define Chinese garden design. 

A close-up of the garden beds at Kitchen Garden at Hamilton Gardens

Experience the culinary delights of Kitchen Garden

Emerging from the cool winter and ideal for those seeking inspiration for their own green endeavours, the Kitchen Garden springs to life in spring months.

Offering a glimpse into the world of productive gardening, Kitchen Garden is vibrant in spring with the hustle and bustle of planting and preparation for the warmer months ahead.

From freshly tilled soil to tender seedlings taking root, there's a sense of anticipation in the air as the garden awakens from its slumber, ready to yield its bounty once more.

A garden to experience in every season

As you can see, regardless of the season you are visiting, there is always something magical to experience at Hamilton Gardens.

Each offering a unique and memorable experience, you can experience the solace of a peaceful retreat in winter, to a garden bursting with life and activity in spring and summer.

Looking across the garden beds towards the fountain in the Italian Renaissance Garden at Hamilton Gardens

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