Become a Friend

Become a Friend of Hamilton Gardens and be a part of these treasured gardens, and their unique concept.

Formed in 1989 by individuals with a desire to support the growth of the Gardens, the Friends continues to raise awareness and promote the use and enjoyment of the Gardens. We also staff the Information Centre daily.

Now, with the Gardens undertaking its ambitious goal to build five gardens in four years, the Friends is the community face of the Gardens and continues to play a key role in fundraising and hosting promotional events alongside Hamilton City Council.


As a Friend you'll attend private garden unveilings, receive invitations for behind-the-scenes tours of gardens under development, receive discounts at local retailers and invitations to special events. You will also enjoy knowing you are making a valuable contribution to the Gardens being recognised as an internationally significant garden.

Activities of the Friends

Our regular events include:

The Katherine Mansfield Garden Party
The Autumn Harvest Festival
Matariki Celebrations
The Scarecrow Festival
Plant sales

Visit the Hamilton Gardens events page for details.

You may also like to join one of our groups:

Propagating Group - for details contact Marleina Ruka on 021 294 9601
Garden Club - for details contact Judy Holdsworth on 07 855 4786
Social Club - for details contact Susan Coubrough on 022 186 2399

Become a volunteer

Hamilton Gardens has been built on a long tradition of volunteering. Hundreds of community volunteers have transformed the former rubbish dump into an internationally regarded garden. The Friends of Hamilton Gardens has played a critical part in this transformation.

Skills and experience

We want our volunteers to have a rewarding and enjoyable time working at Hamilton Gardens. Full training will be provided. In the Information Centre, we are looking for volunteers who enjoy interacting with a wide range of people and completing a range of retail tasks.

The Friends of Hamilton Gardens play a vital role in being the first point of contact for visitors to the Information Centre. They assist visitors with information and maps of the gardens, hire out scooters and wheelchairs, sell tickets to the Waikato River Explorer and sell our shop products to name a few of their tasks. If you would like to become a volunteer, please complete this application form

Making a donation

If you wish to make a donation please contact the Friends' president Virginia Graham on 07 843 8109. Be assured all funds donated will go directly towards Friends of Hamilton Gardens projects.

Making a bequest

The Friends are grateful for any bequests which will directly benefit Hamilton Gardens.

Our involvement at Hamilton Gardens

Our recent achievements

In 2015, the Friends fundraised for the installation of drinking fountains and the Alice in Wonderland sculpture in the Time Court.

In 2015 and 2016 our very successful annual Mansfield Garden Party has promoted the Mansfield Garden, currently under development. The Friends are committed to raising a total of $150,000 for this Garden.

In 2016, the Friends purchased a 1.75m bronze scarecrow, 'The Strawman' for installation in the Kitchen Garden during our annual Scarecrow Festival.

In 2017, the Friends funded the caterpillar fence and children’s picnic table and furnished the Magician’s house in the children’s playground. We also worked with The University of Waikato communication students who completed a number of PR campaigns for us. One student group raised more than $3000 towards the Surrealist Garden.

We are currently putting money in to development of the Picturesque Garden.