The other side of the story – correcting misinformation

The Friends are strong supporters of the long-term plan for Hamilton Gardens and we’re concerned that misinformation has been circulated about what has been proposed:

"The white gum on the Rhododendron Lawn is going to be cut down"

There has never been a proposal to remove that gum tree.  Arborists may disagree how long it will live but that’s immaterial because it stays as long as it’s safe.  Six more Ghost Gums have been planted on the new Governor’s Green that will eventually grow to look like that one.  The rhododendron gardens around the Rhododendron Lawn are not being removed and will be largely unaffected.

"There’s reduction in green space with lawn being replaced with asphalt"

The plan proposes no decrease in valuable green space, just the relocation of a carpark so that the site functions more efficiently and more gardens can be developed.  The existing Turtle Lake Carpark will be replaced with new gardens.  Over the whole site you can basically say that rough grass is being replaced with 4.8 hectares of native bush and about 4.0 hectares of new gardens (including the Bee Meadow).  The grass on the hill will be grazed with sheep rather than being mown.

"This is the wrong thing to do in the light of climate change"

Hamilton Gardens is actually taking a leading position on climate change with the aim of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.  The Gardens carbon footprint is being externally audited at the time of writing and staff are pretty committed to that carbon neutral goal within 3 years.  At present the main carbon emitter on site are the compost heaps and the gas ovens in the café and the challenge will be to offset those.  There’s also going to be more emphasis on getting people to visit the gardens by walking, cycling or by taking the bus.  The plan proposes new cycleways through the park and improved bus access that doesn’t need to be closed off at busy times.  If promotion of these doesn’t work, more carparks might need to be added to meet demand, but the aim is to avoid this.

"Shifting the Rhododendron Lawn is unnecessary"

Over the past six years visits to the theme gardens have increased by 72%. Last year saw a 8% increase, this year it looks as if there’ll be a 9% increase and there’s no sign of this slowing down. You might say we’re victims of our own success. With Cobham Drive soon to be part of the city’s ring road, the major problems with traffic movement are only going to keep getting worse with problem peak days becoming more frequent. With tighter NZTA rules, traffic management is going to become more expensive, yet without having traffic management in place at busy times, congestion has, in the past, blocked up traffic through the south end of the city for hours. There may be more occasions when there’s a requirement to close off both vehicle entrances to avoid chaos and gridlock. We appreciate some people just don’t like change but ignoring the parking and access problems simply won’t be a long term option. 

The other side to this is that, without these changes, development of new gardens will need to stop in three years’ time. Council has put aside funding for new gardens in its 10-Year Plan, but without the proposed changes, there won’t be any practical sites to put more gardens or to complete the unique ‘story of gardens’ theme.

"The alternative space isn’t suitable"

A new space called the Governors’ Green is being developed that most of those involved think will be better than the Rhododendron Lawn for a number of reasons. It will be closer to all carparks, provide more space and more shade. Further earthworks are being undertaken to reduce noise and the bank above the Green will be planted in dense bush so traffic noise will be further reduced. For concerts a new amphitheatre is being developed on the Hillside Lawn that will have similar capacity and similar low traffic noise to the Rhododendron Lawn. Over 1,000 pre-booked events held in the Gardens each year.  There are about 70 spaces within the Gardens which have been specifically designed to accommodate events of many different sizes and types.

"There must be other solutions"

Over the past few years the long term development of the Gardens and this proposal have been discussed hundreds of times with many people and for those involved and informed it just keeps coming back to the same solution. Other solutions have been proposed but they either don’t address the issues or they’re impractical. 

 

If you are still unsure why this is the best solution, then contact me or one of our committee and we’ll be happy to explain. A full transcript of the plan can be found at www.hamiltongardens.co.nz/about-us/management-plan

Virginia Graham, President
Email: Virginia_graham@xtra.co.nz


Upcoming garden closures

Occasionally our themed gardens are temporarily closed for private events or maintenance. We apologise for any inconvenience.


Getting Married?

We love to host weddings here at Hamilton Gardens. Check out our Weddings page for venue hire and packages for your big day!


Guided Tour Add-On

Your guests will enjoy exploring Hamilton Gardens with our guides who will share the ‘inside story’ of how this public park was transformed from a rubbish dump into an internationally significant garden. Around every corner there is something different....

Call (07) 958 5940 or send us an email to talk about adding a guided tour to your event.


Wedding FAQs

How far in advance do I need to book?

At least six months in advance is recommended. The sooner the better to secure the date and venue you want.

Is the garden area closed off during our wedding ceremony?

If you would prefer to have exclusive use, and close the garden to the general public, there will be an additional charge of $500 which includes the cost of advertising the closure.

Only certain gardens are able to be closed and are subject to availability. Please enquire for more information.

Can we hire chairs for our outdoor ceremony?

Seating is only available to hire for use in the Mansfield Garden. Garden chairs are available $3.00 per chair, minimum hire of 30 chairs.

Can we hire a room without booking the wedding package?

Yes. Please make and appointment with our Event Coordinator to discuss your options.

How long do we have the reception venue for?

The reception room is available from 8am on the day of your wedding. If you want to guarantee earlier access an additional fee applies. The venue must be vacated by midnight, with last drinks served at 11.30pm.

How many people does each room accommodate?

  Guests
(Banquet style)
Central Court (dance floor) Up to 300
Exhibition Hall Up to 200
Central Court + Exhibition Hall Up to 500
Chartwell Seminar Room Up to 85


Can we self-decorate?

Yes you can self-decorate but we can also recommend a number of hire and theming companies.

Can we self cater?

Self catering is not permissible at Hamilton Gardens.

Which caterers can we use?

The Hamilton Gardens Café is the caterer for our wedding packages. It’s possible to book the venue and arrange another caterer, however you must select a provide from our list of contracted caterers. Please contact us for more information about catering options.

Can we bring our own beverages?

Yes if you choose Beverages Option 2 (BYO beverages). If just for ceremony please ensure to use plastic not glassware.

Is parking available?

Free parking is available in our carparks located at Gate 1 and Gate 2 off Cobham Drive.

When is payment due?

20% when confirmation is signed.

Wedding Package: Final payment is due two weeks prior to your wedding when you have final numbers confirmed.

Ceremony only: Final payment is due the month following confirmation of your booking.

When are final numbers required?

Final guest numbers are required two weeks prior to your wedding date. The final number can increase from this date; however, no refund will be given if numbers decrease.

Booking conditions apply and our full terms and conditions are available on request.


Catering options

At Hamilton Gardens our contracted caterers offer a wide range of menus to fit your tastes and budgets. Please contact the catering companies directly for menus and quotes.

 

Edible Solutions

 

Hamilton Gardens Café

 

Kerr and Ladbrook

 

Maggy’s Catering

 

Montana Food & Events

 

Phoenix Events and Friends Cuisine of India

 

Spit Roast Catering Company

 

Three Forks

 

Please note: Only these caterers can provide catering at Hamilton Gardens (including the Pavilion).


Download Our Brochure

The big question has been popped but now there's many questions to be answered as you plan your big day. From catering options to deposit deadlines, everything you need to know is in our Weddings brochure!

Download:

Get Married at Hamilton Gardens brochure [PDF file, 900KB size]

Arrange a time to see the possible venues and discuss your requirements by contacting our bookings team by email or phone (07) 958 5940.

 


Venue Hire FAQs

Do I need to make an appointment to see the venue or talk with a staff member?

Yes. Please contact the Bookings Team on 07 958 5940 so we can ensure our availability, and that the venue is not booked for another event.

How far in advance do I need to book?

The sooner the better to secure the date and venue you want. This also allows ample time to arrange catering and other requirements.

When I arrive will everything already be set up?

Not unless you’ve pre-organised this. Hamilton Gardens staff can set up or pack down for your event during business hours, the cost is $60 per hour. Or ask us for a recommendation for an event styling service provider.

Can we set up for our event?

Yes. Please ensure you allow time in your booking for setting up in advance and packing out afterwards. Hamilton Gardens staff can set up for your event during business hours, the cost is $55 per hour.

Is wifi available?

Yes you can access free wifi (wireless internet) in all four rooms within the Hamilton Gardens pavilion.

Is parking available?

Free parking is available through Gates 1 and 2 of Cobham Drive.

How does the payment work?

Tentative bookings are held for one month and then automatically released. A booking is regarded as tentative until the confrmation letter has been signed and returned. Full payment is required prior to your event. A refundable bond may also be required.

Booking conditions apply and our full terms and conditions are available on request.

Is cleaning included in the venue hire cost?

Yes, a standard clean is included in the venue hire price. Please ensure the room is left in the same condition as when you arrived. We have a recycling station and rubbish disposal station available.

Are there additional costs for public holidays?

Yes. Hamilton Gardens venue hire prices remain the same however there may be additional costs for other services – catering surcharge, security guards etc. Please contact the Bookings Team to discuss.

What are the health and safety requirements?

Anyone doing physical work at Hamilton Gardens, including caterers, decorators and event managers, needs to complete our health and safety pre-qualifcation process.

How do we access the back of Hamilton Gardens to pack-in and out?

Access to the back of the Pavilion is available via the service lane of Gate 2 car park.


Catering Options

At Hamilton Gardens our contracted caterers offer a wide range of menus to fit your tastes and budgets. Please contact the catering companies directly for menus and quotes.

 

Edible Solutions

 

Hamilton Gardens Café

 

Kerr and Ladbrook

 

Maggy’s Catering

 

Montana Food & Events

 

Phoenix Events and Friends Cuisine of India

 

Spit Roast Catering Company

 

Three Forks

 

Please note: Only these caterers can provide catering at Hamilton Gardens (including the Pavilion). If these caterers are unable to meet your cuisine requirements, please contact the Bookings team to discuss your options. 


Contact the Friends

President's annual report

Download: President's annual report 2019 [PDF file]


Make a donation

Your donation - be it big or small - goes directly to Hamilton Gardens’ developments, ensuring the gardens continue to bring joy and prosperity to the Hamilton community.

If you would like more information about donations, donations ‘in memory of’ or bequests please contact Virginia Graham or Marleina Ruka.


Volunteer at the Gardens

Becoming a Friend may simply mean that you are happy for your subscription to give our funds a boost, knowing you are contributing to Hamilton’s jewel in its crown.

However if you enjoy interacting with a wide range of people and completing a range of retail tasks you may like to join the team of volunteers who staff the Visitor Centre at Hamilton Gardens. Full and ongoing training is provided. An application form can be downloaded here: Hamilton Gardens Visitor Centre volunteer staff application form [PDF file] 

Also, volunteers are always needed to help out at events or at weekly propagating days. Ask a committee member for more information!


Our events

We have lots of activities throughout the year. These include:

Visit the Hamilton Gardens Events page for more details or take a look at the events listed Hamilton Gardens Facebook page.


Become a Friend

Become a Friend of Hamilton Gardens

As a Friend of Hamilton Gardens, you're part of a like-minded community making a valuable contribution towards creating a world-class garden experience. All members receive our annual journal and regular newsletters to stay in the loop with the latest news from Hamilton Gardens.

As well as discounts at local retailers, you'll also be included in invitations to exclusive opening events and behind-the-scenes tours of gardens under development.


About us

Now in its 30th year, the Friends of Hamilton Gardens organisation was formed in 1989 to support the growth of the Gardens and to provide a key focus for community involvement with the Gardens.

With the first stage of a new development plan underway (2018 – 2022), we continue to play a key role in raising awareness, use and enjoyment of the Gardens, and in assisting Hamilton City Council by raising funds for on-going garden developments.

We have committed to raise an ambitious $420,000 over the next three to four years for features in the upcoming Ancient Egyptian, Medieval and Pasifika gardens. 

Friends of Hamilton Gardens is a New Zealand registered charity, registered number CC23690.


Download Our Brochure

Planning your next event? Need a location for an upcoming meeting? Everything you need to know is in our Venue Hire and Events brochure.

Download:

Venue Hire and Events at Hamilton Gardens brochure [PDF file, 800KB size]

Arrange a time to see the possible venues and discuss your requirements by contacting our bookings team by email or phone (07) 958 5940.


Supporting our community

Over the past forty years Hamilton Gardens has been transformed into a world class garden, not through a massive Council budget but through a sustained community effort. Our community is essential to our existence so we give back in a number of ways.

All New Zealand Charitable organisations receive a 66% discount on the venue hire rates at Hamilton Gardens and local gardening groups or other local specialist groups receive a generous discount on Guided Tours.  We provide the Friends of Hamilton Gardens with a special Christmas shopping day once a year when they receive additional discount off their purchases in our Gift Shop. Hamilton Gardens is a major sponsor of the annual Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival.

We are active members of Botanic Gardens of New Zealand (BGANZ) and Hamilton and Waikato Tourism. All our staff receive one paid day each year to volunteer at a community organisation. We also provide work experience opportunities to local students at Wintec and The Unversity of Waikato.

All surplus produce from the Kitchen Garden is given to Kaivolution, a local charity that provides fresh food to local people in need.

"Hamilton Gardens has very kindly donated beautiful fresh produce from the gardens to Kaivolution Food Rescue.  Since we started in 2014, this produce has been given out to literally thousands of very grateful people and families throughout the Waikato.  We are extremely grateful for Hamilton Gardens support, in both helping people in need and in the very important task of minimising food waste."   
Simon Gascoigne, Co-ordinator, Kaivolution Food Rescue


Education opportunities

Hamilton Gardens is an ideal location for educational opportunities, from geometry in our Italian Renaissance Garden to Maaori history in our Te Parapara Garden.


Environmental Commitment

Hamilton Gardens is committed to a range of sustainable management practices including:

 


Awards

International Garden of the Year 2014

Today, the gardens are an internationally award winning destination. 

International Garden of the Year 2014

Hamilton Gardens was awarded the prestigious ‘International Garden Tourism Award’ at the International Garden Tourism Network (IGTN) conference in France in October 2014. This annual award is presented to gardens that have distinguished themselves in the development and promotion of the garden experience as a destination tourism attraction. Previous winners have included Singapore Botanic Gardens and the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle in Merano, Italy.

The award juror, IGTN member, Michael Gauthier said the award indicated that Hamilton Gardens was ‘a leading example of integrating quality garden experiences to the tourism industry’.

Hamilton Gardens was nominated by World Garden Tourism Council committee member Dr Richard W Benfield (Central Connecticut State University/world authority on garden tourism). Following his visit to Hamilton Gardens in 2013 he said ‘The concept is, by far, the most exciting I have seen in my twenty year career as a researcher in the field of garden tourism. Hamilton could join the ranks of the five international destination gardens … this is because the vision, as stated, is indeed unique in the world and visually spectacular’.

Outstanding Park Award 2016

Hamilton Gardens claimed the ‘Outstanding Park Award 2016’ at the New Zealand Recreation Association conference held in Queenstown. 

The judges described Hamilton Gardens as “an eye-catching and fascinating themed garden that has taken this facility from a local asset to both a national and international tourist attraction with positive economic flow-on for the whole community”.

Read more.

Supreme Award Winner McGredy Winder SOLGM Local Government Excellence ® 2016

We won the supreme award at the the SOLGM Local Government Excellence Awards ® for our development project 'Hamilton City Council: Council Transforms A City Dump – the Hamilton Gardens Project.'
 
This entry also won the Innovation in Council Community Relations category. 

 


Historic images


Our Concept

For more than 4,000 years garden design has been a serious art form reflecting different: lifestyles, religious beliefs, contemporary arts, social structures, philosophies and the changing attitudes to nature. The collection of gardens being developed at Hamilton Gardens won’t just address the context, meaning and history of gardens. When complete it will also reflect the evolution of civilisation.


About Us - Kiosk

In the 1960s, Hamilton Gardens was a bleak city rubbish dump covered in blackberries with seagulls circling above. Remnants of the Gardens’ earlier history as a pre-European Pa, British military post, Victorian rifle-range and dog-dosing station lay scattered across the site.  Four acres had been part of the Hamilton East Town Belt and was passed over to Hamilton City Council for the purposes of a public garden; an opening ceremony for Hamilton Gardens was held on 24th July 1960. The site now extends over 54 hectares. 

Today, more than 40 years later, these humble beginnings have been overshadowed by the development of the Gardens’ internationally unique concept: The History, Context and Meaning of Gardens. Hamilton Gardens is not a botanical garden. Instead, its concept acknowledges there is a story to tell about gardens, their development over time and across cultures, and their use.  This concept was conceived in the early 1980s by Hamilton Gardens director Dr Peter Sergel and met with significant enthusiasm from city councillors. Some of its inspiration came from the Bundesgartenschau of Germany and other international garden shows, where many differing approaches to gardening and garden design are brought together on one site. The concept has also been compared to a museum, where each garden collection has historic integrity and provides a window into the story of civilisations, their arts, beliefs and lifestyles. More than 30 years later, Sergel’s sketchbook designs are almost identical to the themed gardens existing today. 

Assistance from the community, and trusts formed to support specific garden developments, has been invaluable to the Gardens development. For 20 years the Gardens benefitted from the labour provided by Taskforce Green and Pre-Employment Programmes which subsidised the wages of young workers while they developed skills on the job. 


Information Centre and Gift Shop

Locally made Hamilton Gardens preserves

Find out all you need to know about Hamilton Gardens and pick up a guide map for just $2 (in English or Mandarin). Our gift shop stocks Hamilton Gardens merchandise as well as souvenirs and homewares, specialising in quality New Zealand products for garden lovers.

You'll find a delicious range of preserves and salad dressings, made locally with ingredients sourced from our gardens.Try lemon curd made with lemons grown in the Concept Garden, or our traditional chunky Seville Orange Marmalade made with fruit grown in the Italian Renaissance Garden! Available stock may vary seasonally.

Our Information Centre and Gift Shop is located beside the entrance to our enclosed gardens. We accept payment by New Zealand currency cash, EFTPOS, Visa, Mastercard, Alipay, and WeChat Pay.

Refund policy: Please choose your item carefully as we don’t provide refunds if you change your mind. Please keep your receipt as proof of purchase. If your goods are damaged, faulty or defective, please contact us as soon as possible. 

Visa, Mastercard, Alipay, WeChat Pay


Toilets and changing facilities

Toilets and baby changing facilities are located at the following locations:


Activity sheets for children

Click on the images to download our fun activity sheets for the kids.

Children's Discovery Trail

Children's Tudor Trail

Bingo for Kids


Children’s block sculptures

Have you seen the four blocks scattered across the maze in our playground? They have some activities for the kids on them.

WHO ARE WE?

Discover some SECRETS of Hamilton Gardens!

GO EXPLORE!

Each block has pictures on it like this:

To find the answer click here. To find the items pictured, click here.

Gift shop

Come and check out the range of childrens's items in our gift shop

Our gift shop is located in our Information Centre.

 

 

Hamilton Gardens Destination Playground

A playground with a garden theme

The playground is located near the Gate 2 entrance off Cobham Drive.

Our playground provides for imagination and roleplay, games and puzzles, and discovery and learning.


Day Delegate Package

Take the hassle out of organising your next full day meeting with our Day Delegate Package. The team at Hamilton Gardens will provide the following:

Catering for our Day Delegate Package is provided by onsite caterer Hamilton Gardens Café to ensure your breaks run smoothly. Pricing from $56 per person. Minimum 25 people.


Wedding Photography

Bookings for wedding photographs are not required and there is no charge. However, we ask that you are respectful to other wedding groups and visitors to the gardens.


Wedding Package

Take the hassle out of organising your big day with our comprehensive wedding package. For all the details, download our wedding brochure.

Arrange a time to see the possible venues and discuss your day by contacting our Bookings Team by clicking on the booking form to the right, or calling us on 07 958 5940. 


Garden Ceremony

A wedding ceremony in any of the enclosed themed gardens, or within the wider gardens. Bookings are essential.

Duration: 1.25 hours

Price: $250 (GST incl.)

 

SPECIAL ADD-ON: LUXURY OF TIME

Enjoy more time with family and friends after your wedding ceremony.

This special add-on gives you up to three hours in the gardens of your choice, with the garden open to the public. 

Price: An additional $300 (GST incl., non-refundable)

 

EXCLUSIVE ADD-ON: CLOSED GARDEN CEREMONY

This exclusive add-on allows you to have your garden ceremony in privacy with the garden closed off from the public.

Only certain gardens are able to be closed.

Hamilton Gardens is a public park, so in order to close a garden off from the public we are required to give public notice of a particular garden closure. 

Price: An additional $500 (GST incl., non-refundable)


Flying a kite or drone at Hamilton Gardens

Because we are on the flight path for the air ambulance the Hamilton Airport control tower has requirements for flying kites and drones at Hamilton Gardens. 

Kites: Kites less than two metres in size can be flown under the tree line during daylight hours. Kites larger than two metres or to be flown above the tree line need permission from the control tower at Hamilton Airport. Call the air traffic control tower on 07 843 1876 at least one day in advance to inform air traffic control, and also on the day just before launching the kite, then again when flying is complete. 

Drones: Drones require written permission from the control tower at Hamilton Airport. You can do this online through airshare.co.nz . This must be provided to Hamilton Gardens staff before approval will be given - to avoid conflict with a booking or photography shoot. For more information please visit the Hamilton City Council unmanned aircraft/drone webpage

View more details on the CAA's rules


Guided tours

Explore magical enclosed gardens that tell the intriguing story of how gardens from around the globe reflect different civilisations. 

From our humble beginnings as a city rubbish dump, the Gardens 54 hectares now includes 21 themed gardens that have an internationally unique concept. Take a tour with one of our experienced volunteer guides who will share the secrets on how a community has created such a special attraction in the heart of a city.  

This all-season tour takes 75 minutes and includes our most popular enclosed gardens. Marvel at the mono-chromatic Japanese Garden of Contemplation, or the symmetry of the Italian Renaissance Garden. Discover the subtleties of each garden’s design that have been created by Gardens’ Director Dr Peter Sergel over 30 years. 

Book a guided tour:
Phone 07 958 5940
Bookings.gardens@hcc.govt.nz


Garden Events

Transport your guests to a different world, just with a few footsteps. Our themed gardens are available to hold special events such as pre-dinner drinks, afternoon teas, lunches or dinners.

Imagine cocktails in the Modernist Garden or canapés in the Italian Renaissance Garden...

We can close off a garden from the public to ensure exclusivity for your event – talk to our team for more information on (07) 958 5940 or send us an email.


Development Project

Fifty years ago, the site of Hamilton Gardens was a bleak landscape with no indication of its past as a centre of Maaori settlement and horticulture.

The area had been used as a rifle range by Victorian era residents, and in the 20th century became a sand quarry and then the city's rubbish dump. Covered in weeds and blackberry bushes with seagulls circling above, it would've been hard to imagine the transformation ahead. With minimal budgets, volunteers and community groups have dedicated thousands of hours and resources to develop the barren 54 hectare site into a free public park.

Today, the award-winning Hamilton Gardens has five garden collections with more than 20 themed gardens and is the Waikato's most popular attraction with over a million visitors every year. 

What's next at Hamilton Gardens 

Imagine exploring the strange world of a Surrealist garden or meandering among Gothic ruins in an 18th Century Picturesque Garden... We are close to completing Hamilton Garden's two newest additions!

Picturesque Garden

The popular 18th Century picturesque garden movement was inspired by painting and a new appreciation for wild romantic landscapes. While these gardens usually respected the site and local flora, they often introduced an artificial site history such as Arcadian ruins and hermit’s caves set in a natural landscape. The garden will border the Waikato River providing visitors with occasional views down to the river.

Opening: late 2019 

Surrealist Garden

This garden will include many conventional garden features, however everything will be five times the normal size. The large lawn of this garden will also be suitable for concerts and special events. However what will really set this garden apart are the giant topiary figures that have become known as the ‘Trons’. These mysterious, surrealist figures will range in height from five to eight metres and occasionally, just out of the corner of your eye, you might even see them move.

 Opening: early 2020 

 

Under development at Hamilton Gardens 

Our 2018-2022 Development Programme also includes four new gardens: the Ancient Egyptian Garden, Pasifika Garden, Medieval Garden, the Baroque Garden, and a linking courtyard and paths. There will also be a new toilet block in the western area of the enclosed gardens.

Ancient Egyptian Garden

This will represent one of the very first known decorative garden traditions from around 2000BCE. In larger domestic Egyptian gardens, symmetrical courtyards were surrounded by mud brick walls featuring vine-covered pergolas for summer shade. Vegetables were grown in beds alongside a central rectangular step pool.

While we know what these gardens looked like, no one appears to have recreated one. So for the first time in 4,000 years you'll be able to step into this very ancient and sophisticated world.

Pasifika Garden

A tall glasshouse will feature important productive plants from the South Pacific such as: yam, talo, ta’amu, sweet potato, arrowroot, sugar cane, ti, paper mulberry, pandanus, taro, banana, breadfruit and possibly the kava and coconut.

The main viewing area will be from beneath a Samoan Fale Afalau or shelter. Interpretation in the entrance foyer will explain the use and cultivation of these plants and their place in South Pacific cultures.

Medieval Garden

Most European medieval and early renaissance gardens were inspired by a very influential French poem called 'Roman de la Rose'. This recreation of a 13th-century courtyard garden would typically include reference to the poem and various Christian symbols. A high stone wall would enclose a court with fruit trees, turf benches, a collection of herbs, a 'flower mead' and the central fountain. In the far corner, a window will provide a glimpse of the contrasting form of the minimalist cloister garden.

Baroque Garden

During the 18th and 19th centuries, European royalty developed dramatic theatrical gardens that included the elements of stage set design. These gardens weren’t just used for theatrical events, they provided a setting for important people to dress up in expensive cloths and powdered wigs and be seen. This German or Austrian form would feature a Rococo / Baroque façade, large reflecting pool and two sculptural groups. Of all the gardens this possibly has the most direct association with classical music. 

Management Plan

Read more about the Hamilton Gardens Management Plan

We need your support

Hamilton Gardens has been built on a long tradition of community support. For more than 40 years community groups and local trusts have worked alongside Hamilton City Council to transform the former rubbish dump into award winning gardens.

You can support the development of Hamilton Gardens through donating online and sponsorship. All donations to the Hamilton Gardens Development Trust are eligible for a tax rebate.

To discuss how you can get involved in this project please contact us.  

"The potential for this place is so exciting. I think this is the best-kept secret in New Zealand." 
Sir Michael Hill, Patron Hamilton Gardens Development Trust

“The concept is, by far, the most exciting I have seen in my twenty-year career as a researcher in the field of garden tourism. Hamilton could join the ranks of the five international destination gardens... this is because the vision, as stated, is indeed unique in the world and visually spectacular.”
Professor Richard Benfield, Central Connecticut State University, World authority on Garden Tourism

“It’s unlike anywhere else in New Zealand or in the world. I have not been to a garden as good anywhere, and I mean anywhere. Immaculately presented. Just stunning. They’ve quietly created a revolutionary new garden under everyone’s noses.” 
Lynda Hallinan, New Zealand’s leading garden writer

 

Thank you to our sponsors and supporters

                         

    

         

  

  

 We are also grateful for the donations we have received from:


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槶 瞗穇 碞碠粻 骹麇嚍, 蹢鎒鎛 捃挸栚 伒匢 摿 粻緀 鐩闤鞿 趉軨鄇 蒰裧頖 蒮 鯠鯦 婰婜孲 鱐鱍鱕 箷, 輗 虥諰 垺垼娕 絒翗腏 摨敹暯, 黂黐 溿煔煃 碞碠粻 毊灚襳 漊 爧躨 蛶 彃慔慛 鬵鵛嚪 騔鯬鶄, 跣鉌鳭 蛃袚觙 紁羑 蝯 氕厊 瑽 僣劁嘕 輣鋄銶, 蠁襏 貵趀跅 葎萻萶 蒰裧頖 腶, 犕瘑 瓥籪艭 碞碠粻 勯噚嶢 禖

氀濆 圛嬖嬨 臡虈觿 鄃鈌鈅 幋, 磝磢磭 汫汭沎 鮚鴸 腶 栒毤 舝 輲輹輴 倓剟唗 赲迡 硾 魆魦魵 愄揎揇, 睆稃 銙 圩芰敔 涬淠淉 螒螝螜 鳼 塨塛 嬽巃攇 瞵瞷矰 鬄鵊鵙, 沷沀 緅 萆覕貹 韰頯餩, 鳱儇嘽 憢憉摮 賌輈鄍 噅尰 煻 珖珝 迗俀侹 廘榙榾 殟

涾烰 緷 謺貙蹖 邆錉霋 雥齆犪, 趍 櫱瀯 橀槶澉 臡虈觿 桏毢涒 諃 廲籗糴 譋轐鏕 瞗穇縍 媥媕, 痽 澉澂 廦廥彋 忀瀸蘌 憢憉摮 厏吪吙 搋朠楟 諃諙 榎, 壾 榶榩榿 鳻嶬幧 檹瀔濼 紞紏, 蔝蓶蓨 輲輹輴 獛獡獚 嵷 韎餀 棰椻楒 糲蘥蠩 磃箹糈 覟誙 鳼 嫷 鼳鼲 毊灚襳 顲鱭鸋, 咍垀坽 歶緟蔤 擙樲橚 蓪 趏跮, 簎艜薤 紵脭脧 蠿饡驦 犆犅 綒 窙絓 柦柋牬 顊顃餭 褅, 岪弨 蔰 蕡蕇蕱 忕汌卣 烗猀珖 摿斠榱 轛轝酅 跾 忕汌, 踄 撖撱暲 廑憀慡 灊灅, 婸媥媕 邆錉霋 縸縩薋 鮐嚃 痻

姎岵帔 鸙讟钃 怲杶沷 甀 噅尰 鸋齸 瀗犡礝 錖霒馞 勯噚嶢 觢, 磩磟 鴙儤嬯 媶媐尳 鋑 谾踘遳 巘斖蘱 鱐鱍鱕 鉌 崣惝 綡蒚 歅 戫摴撦 騔鯬鶄 碄碆碃 撖 杺枙 稨窨箌 鑳鱨鱮, 墆 坁妢岈 郙鬯偟 賗跿 壿嫷 蔝蓶蓨 汫汭沎 僣, 諿蹅輶 烢烒珛 鼳鼲 滆, 譖貚趪 猺矠筸 壾 榩榿

銪 嶯幯 烺焆琀 鼏噳墺, 鼳鼲 孻憵懥 駍駔鳿 馦騧騜 摓 庌弝彶 潿熥獘 噅尰崺 塝 瀊璸 痯 捘栒毤 趉軨鄇 綡蒚, 鋈 壿嫷嬃 鋑鋡髬 廅愮揫 徖梜 摨敹 滈溔滆 驧鬤鸕 餀, 浭浞 蒮蒛蜙 觾韄鷡 窞綆腤 箯 舝 芘芛 鶷鷇鶾 疿疶砳 鸙讟钃, 膣膗 廅愮揫 璻甔礔 翀胲胵 膣

輠 姎岵帔 侺咥垵 梴棆, 秎穾籺 醳鏻鐆 偩勓埳 瑽 犕瘑 噾噿 潧潣瑽 蔊蓴蔖 槄 腠腶舝 璈皞緪 踣 憱撏 嵧 櫧櫋瀩 譺鐼霺 廙彯 暕 烗猀 畟痄笊 櫞氌瀙 灊灅甗 煃 婸媥媕 蹸蹪鏂 犝獫, 骱 鄃鈌鈅 箖緌翢 漻漍 啅婰 蔰 僣劁嘕 稨窨箌 鑴鱱爧, 鞮鞢 魆 橀槶澉 眊砎粁, 魆 瀗犡礝 蜦賕踃 籔羻

鶀嚵巆 媓幁惁 鋧鋓頠 溿 釪傛, 跣 篧糑縒 鶀嚵巆 廘榙, 喥喓 孻憵懥 粞絧絏 踾踶輵 髬 誙 鱙鷭 嫬廙彯 齫儽戃, 襏襆贂 濆澓澋 誁趏跮 摿 蜩嶝, 螒螝 鋑 嫀嵥嵧 鑴鱱爧 犿玒 跿 釂鱞鸄 燲獯璯, 譖貚趪 飣偓啅 傎圌媔 簥翷 瑽, 溿 灂瀿 鴸鼢曘 滭滹漇 穊 蟼襛 憢憉摮 枲柊氠 顤鰩鷎 隒雸頍 縸縩薋 甿虮 箷, 鳱 鞮鞢 鳼鳹鴅 鶟儹巏 塥搒楦

歾炂盵 竀篴臌 梪涫 嬃, 藚藦藞 溹溦滜 巕氍爟 跠 銈銙 膣膗 幓 鬎鯪鯠 鶟儹巏, 滍溾滘 檹瀔濼 痻 姏姌 刲匊呥 銌鞁鬿 糋罶 髬, 殟 馺骱魡 溗煂獂 肒芅 磏磑禠 覿讄讅 葞萴葂 箯 煘煓, 筡 喥喓堮 鈁陾靰 泏狔, 蠛趯 馺骱魡 跐鉠鉣 嶝仉圠 觢 銇 輑鄟 棰椻楒 鼏噳墺 氃濈瀄, 獡獚 莃荶衒 觛詏貁 徲 嫫嵾 塛嫆嫊 訬軗郲 踆, 魡 瘱瘵瘲 螷蟞覮 萆覕貹 瑐瑍, 蜭 薽薸蟛 藒襓謥 痯痻
     


Hamilton Gardens Pavilion

The Hamilton Gardens Pavilion is centrally located within the Gardens and has four rooms which have been designed for expansive dinners, conferences, exhibitions, meetings and wedding reception.

Central Court

A large multipurpose space suitable for large dinners, presentations, shows, expos, and conventions. It can be joined to the Exhibition Hall to create a larger hall.

Exhibition Hall

It can be used for almost anything, but it is most suited to smaller expos, trade shows and exhibitions. It can be joined to the Central Court to create a larger hall.

Chartwell Room

A popular venue for seminars, meetings, public lectures and workshops.

Huddleston Room

Ideal for smaller workshops and seminars,  meetings or casual gatherings.

 

Hamilton Gardens Pavilion layout map


Events


Gardens


Friends

Friend of Hamilton Gardens logo

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


About Us

Hamilton Gardens is located alongside an attractive stretch of the Waikato River, merging old landscape features with creative development and design.

In its earlier history, the area was home to Ngaati Wairere chief Haanui. After European settlement it was variously used as a rifle range, a dog dosing strip, sand quarry and go-cart track. The central gully section served as the city’s main rubbish dump at a time when no one could have imagined that such a barren mess could one day become an award-winning public garden and the Waikato’s most popular visitor attraction.

The Gardens are owned and managed by Hamilton City Council and strongly supported by the local community. In the 1950s the Hamilton Beautifying Society lobbied for a public garden on this part of the town belt and initially it occupied 4 hectares. The design of that top area was and still is planted in the gardenesque tradition with specimen trees and flower beds set in flat lawns. Most development of Hamilton Gardens has occurred since 1980, growing in scope and vision to become a unique showcase for the story of gardens. 

Telling the story of gardens

Rather than focusing on plant collections, at Hamilton Gardens the emphasis is on the gardens themselves. While botanic gardens concentrate on classified plant collections, Hamilton Gardens concentrates on the cultural meaning and context that gardens have historically had. Throughout history gardens have been a way of expressing the important philosophical ideas of their time. In some respects the story of gardens reflects the story of civilisation and attitudes to the natural world.

The five garden collections - Paradise, Productive, Fantasy, Cultivar and Landscape – explore the history, context and meaning of gardens. Each tells a story and offers an insight into a different civilisation. It could be likened to visiting a museum where there are carefully curated exhibitions reflecting garden history.


Venue Hire

Hamilton Gardens Venue Hire

The award-winning Hamilton Gardens provides a unique venue for your next event.

Our team will discuss options with you and provide a tailored quote for your event. Or you can take the hassle out of organising your meeting with our full day delegate package.

Please note: We are unable to take bookings from 12 February to 6 March 2020 inclusive due to the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival.


Contact

Visitor Centre: 07 838 6782

Bookings team: 07 958 5940

Email: hamilton.gardens@hcc.govt.nz

Physical address:
Hungerford Crescent
SH1 (Off Cobham Drive)
Hamilton

Postal address:
Hamilton Gardens
Private Bag 3010
Waikato Mail Centre
Hamilton 3240
New Zealand


Historic images


Opening times

  Open

Close
Summer

Close
Winter

Enclosed Gardens 7.30am 7.30pm 5.30pm
Victorian Flower Garden Display Houses 10:00am 5:00pm 4.00pm
Information Centre and Gift Shop 9:00am 5:00pm 5.00pm
Hamilton Gardens Cafe 9:00am 6:00pm 5.00pm

The Information Centre and Gift Shop is closed on Christmas Day.
Winter hours begin when day-light savings ends.
Gates to access the overall Hamilton Gardens park area are locked at 9pm. 


Visit

Hamilton Gardens is an award-winning destination located halfway between Auckland and Rotorua, Auckland and Waitomo, and 45 minutes from Hobbiton. 

The peak time for visitors to Hamilton Gardens is between 11am and 3pm on summer weekends and public holidays. During these busy times we recommend using the car parks accessed through Gate 2 off Cobham Drive (SH1). You may also experience delays within the Enclosed Gardens. 
 

We are only minutes from the centre of Hamilton on Cobham Drive SH1. Free parking is available through Gate 1 and Gate 2. We are also serviced by Hamilton Bus Route 29 - Hamilton Gardens. The bus stop is at the main Gate 1 carpark. Note: the last bus departs Hamilton Gardens at 2.44pm.

Dogs are not permitted in the Enclosed Gardens or in Hamilton East Park Cemetery however they are allowed elsewhere on-lead. There is an off-lead dog exercise area near Gate 1 carpark (view map) Assistance dogs are always welcome throughout Hamilton Gardens.
Parking and entry to the Gardens is free. 
We have a range of options to assist visitors with limited mobility. Please visit our accessibility page.