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. 


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.


Information Centre and Gift Shop

Our Information Centre and Gift Shop is beside the entrance to our enclosed gardens. We offer a wide range of homewares and gifts with a garden theme and also a range of ‘hands-on’ children’s products designed to stimulate an interest in the outdoors. These have been picked to match themes from our Fantasy and Productive Garden Collections.

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. 


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. Minimum 20 people.

Our $45 per person package includes:

Optional Add-Ons

Catering for the Day Delegate Package is provided by onsite caterer Hamilton Gardens Café to ensure your breaks run smoothly. 


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 wedding package. 

For more information, download our wedding brochure.

Arrange a time to see the possible venues and discuss your day by contacting our Bookings Team on bookings.gardens@hcc.govt.nz or 07 958 5940. 


Garden Ceremony

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

Price: $215 (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)


Guided Tours

Explore the gardens with our experienced guides and get the 'inside story' on the gardens.

Learn more about our Guided Tours and how to book.


Flying a kite or drone at Hamilton Gardens

Kites

You may fly a kite at Hamilton Gardens if it is less than 2 metres in size and flown under the tree line.  Kites must be flown in daylight hours only.

If your kite is larger than 2 metres or if you wish to fly it above the tree line you must obtain permission from the control tower at Hamilton Airport.

Drones

To fly a drone over Hamilton Gardens, you will need 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.

​Assessment will be based on whether the request is related to:

For more information please visit the Hamilton City Council unmanned aircraft/drone webpage

View more details on the CAA's rules


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.


Our involvement at Hamilton Gardens


Guided Tours

Adults $15 - Child 6-14 years $8 - Children 5 and under are free of charge

BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTIAL
Bookings require 48 hours notice. All guided tours are unavailable on Christmas Day and Good Friday. 

Phone: (07) 958 5940
Email: bookings.gardens@hcc.govt.nz

PICNIC BASKETS
Picnic baskets are available during your visit and can be enjoyed in any of the gardens. Please contact the Hamilton Gardens Cafe.

WAIKATO RIVER EXPLORER
Ask about adding a river cruise on the WaIkato River to your visit, or contact the Waikato River Explorer. 


Guided Tours

Hamilton Gardens is the Waikato’s most visited attraction with approximately one million visitors each year.

Our site's history is very diverse; from pre-European Pa, British military post, Victorian rifle-range, netball courts and dog-dosing station. However, it is the transformation from a bleak rubbish dump covered in blackberries with seagulls circling over above in the 1960s that has intrigued visitors. With significant community support the Gardens is now an internationally award winning garden. 

Take a guided tour and discover:

“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.” - Central Connecticut State University, World authority on Garden Tourism, Professor Richard Benfield

For group bookings please email our bookings team or call (07) 958 5940.   


Garden Events

Imagine a themed dinner in the Italian Renaissance Garden or canapes in the Chinoiserie Garden. Perhaps outdoor opera in the English Flower Garden or cooking classes in the Kitchen Garden. The choice is yours.

The themed gardens are available to hold special events such as pre-dinner drinks, afternoon teas, lunches or dinners where your guests can be transported into different worlds.


Environmental Commitment

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

 


International Garden of the Year 2014

Hamilton Gardens has received the prestigious International Garden of the Year award.

The win was announced in October 2014 as part of the 2014 Garden Tourism Awards held at the International Conference Gardens Without Limits conference in Metz, France.

The annual award is presented to gardens which distinguish themselves in the development and promotion of the garden experience as a tourism attraction. Previous winners have included the Singapore Botanic Garden - which is currently applying for UNESCO World Heritage Status - and the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle in Merano, Italy.

Mayor Julie Hardaker says “This is fantastic news. It puts Hamilton on the world gardens stage and I am sure the whole of Hamilton will be celebrating. It comes just as we start a major development programme at the Gardens which will increase the tourism options.”
Hamilton Gardens Director Dr Peter Sergel says: “Many local individuals and organisations have contributed to the creation of Hamilton Gardens, and this is some well-deserved recognition for what they have achieved. There is a lot more garden development still to occur and we’re constantly improving the way we do things. However this international award confirms we’re on the right track.”

Hamilton Gardens’ concept of tracing The Story of Gardens through different civilisations and time is considered internationally unique. This concept was recognised by award juror Michel Gauthier, who said the award from industry peers indicated Hamilton Gardens was “a leading example of integrating quality garden experiences to the tourism industry”.

Four gardens from around the world were considered for this unique award, with garden tourism expert Dr Richard Benfield nominating Hamilton Gardens. Following his visit in 2013 the American scholar said Hamilton Gardens’ concept of telling The Story of Gardens is unique in the world and visually spectacular. “The concept is, by far, the most exciting I have seen in my 20-year career as a researcher in the field of garden tourism.”

Hamilton Gardens’ development has been fast-tracked after Hamilton City Council approved a targeted rate for five more gardens within four years adopted in Council’s 2014/15 Annual Plan. The proposed gardens, and associated visitor facilities, will cost $7 million, however consultancy firm Horwath HTL estimates this investment will be recouped within three years through increased economic benefits to the region. Additional funding for the Gardens is being sought from grants and sponsorship.


Awards

International Garden of the Year 2014

 

 

 

 

 

Qualmark Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award

A Gold Award recognises the best sustainable tourism businesses in New Zealand, with the delivery of exceptional customer experiences an integral part of everything they do.  A Gold Sustainable Tourism Award identifies those businesses leading the way in making the New Zealand tourism industry a world class sustainable visitor destination. Only those businesses that are delivering a quality sustainable experience, who have safe principles and practices, and showcase true New Zealand hospitality, are recognised through a Qualmark endorsement.

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. 

 

 


测试页1

鋈 忁曨曣 瀿犨皫 峷敊浭 藡覶, 嫀 墡嬇 堔埧娾 醆鋍鞎 阰刲 嬽巃攇 巘斖蘱 榎 簎艜薤 鋧鋓頠 駓駗鴀 嵷 儹巏, 魆 蒮蒛蜙 踆跾踄 貚趪 澉 秎穾 榃痯痻 湹渵焲 瑍痸碚, 醑醏錛 墥墡嬇 鋧鋓 溔, 鏀顝 歅 螷蟞覮 寁崏庲 梜淊淭 蟼襛 箯 柦柋牬 渳湥牋, 趎跰 瀗犡礝 婸媥媕 秎穾籺 蜸

鷕黰戄 醳鏻鐆 輗 沷沀, 慛 慛慖 躆轖轕 櫞氌瀙, 塥搒楦 緱翬膞 鋱 豥趍 偢偣唲 茇茺苶 頍僤 摿, 鯢鯡 輠 廑憀慡 迗俀侹 贄蹝轈 厗垌壴 拻敁柧 鞿鬖 摓, 慛 坁妢岈 蠸衋醾 浭浞 曏樴橉 豲貕貔 趡趛踠 撱暲 澂, 譺鐼霺 醙醠鍖 脀蚅蚡 蹪鏂 滍

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.

 

 

  CAPACITY & SIZES HIRE PRICES*
Venue Cocktail Theatre Classroom Banquet Room Area 8am-Noon Noon-5pm 5pm-Midnight 8am-Midnight
Central Court 540 450 250 300 543m2

$340

$370 $415 $805
Exhibition Hall 280 250 150 200 266m2 $235 $260 $295 $565

Both rooms above

800 650 350 500 809m2 $555 $610 $690 $1,350
Chartwell Room 150 120 70 85 153m2 $214 $254 $279 $569
Huddleston Room   18 12   26m2 $125 $135 $145 $365
Kitchen - Sole use           $99 $99 $99 $228

*We also offer community rates. Please call our team to enquire.


Events


Gardens


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.

Benefits

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.


About Us

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. 


Venue Hire

The award winning Hamilton Gardens provides a unique venue for your next event. Our team will discuss your options with you and provide you with a tailored quote for your event. Or you can take the hassle out of organising your meeting with our full day delegate package.

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

DOWNLOAD OUR VENUE HIRE BROCHURE (pdf 856k)


Contact

Information 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

Collections and Facilities Opening time

Summer

Winter**
Garden Collections Paradise, Fantasy, Productive 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 Summer 9.30am Winter 6:00pm 5.00pm

*The Information Centre and Gift Shop is closed on Christmas Day and Good Friday.
**Winter hours begin when day-light savings ends. 


Visit

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

 
We are only minutes from the centre of Hamilton on Cobham Drive SH1. Parking is available through Gate 1 and Gate 2.  View our driving instructions. We are also serviced by Hamilton Bus Route 29 - Lakes and 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. 
Hamilton Gardens Cafe overlooks Turtle Lake and has coffee, ice-blocks, cabinet food and a lunch menu. 
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
Find out how a barren rubbish dump has been transformed into an internationally unique garden by taking a guided tour of our Gardens.