Visit

Nau mai, haere mai! Hamilton Gardens is open every day of the year and entry is free

Our address is Hungerford Crescent, Hamilton East, Hamilton 3216, New Zealand.
Get directions here.

Peak time for visitors to Hamilton Gardens is between 11am and 3pm on summer weekends and public holidays. The car parks will be busy and you may experience delays within the Enclosed Gardens. 
Entry to Hamilton Gardens is free.
Free parking is available on site through Gate 1 and Gate 2. 
We have a range of options to assist visitors with limited mobility. Please visit our accessibility page for more info.
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 is a smoke-free environment. Smoking is only permitted in the car parks.

Getting here

  • We are only minutes from Hamilton central city on Cobham Drive SH1. Get directions here.
  • Coming from Auckland, Hamilton Gardens is 90 minutes drive and is located halfway between Auckland and Rotorua or Taupō.
  • Hamilton Gardens is 45 minutes from Hobbiton and 1 hour from the Waitomo Caves.
  • Catch a bus on Route 17 - Hamilton Gardens. The bus stop is at the main Gate 1 carpark. 
  • Walk or cycle alongside the Waikato River between Hamilton Gardens and the city centre. Read more about Hamilton's shared trails.
  • The best way for pedestrians or cyclists to cross Cobham Drive is via the Sillary Street underpass which comes out on the Governor's Green near Gate 2.

Making the most of your visit

  • You can get a detailed map of Hamilton Gardens for $2 from the Information Centre. Available in English or Mandarin.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle and top up at the free drinking water stations available in the gardens.
  • Rubbish bins are provided throughout the park so help us keep things tidy by not littering.
  • We encourage visitors to follow The Tiaki Promise as a commitment to care for New Zealand.
  • Share your photos with #hamiltongardens. Tag us on Facebook or Instagram, and leave a review on Trip Advisor!


Opening times

The Enclosed Gardens are open 7.30am to 5.30pm during winter months.

The Information Centre and Gift Shop is open 9am to 5pm every day except Christmas Day.

Gates to access the overall Hamilton Gardens park area are locked at 9pm.


Guided tours

Experience a world of different cultures, beliefs, and design...

Book online now

Take a tour of Hamilton Gardens with one of our experienced guides who will share their behind-the-scenes knowledge. Even if you're a local who's visited a hundred times before, you’ll discover much more about the award-winning garden designs created here over the last 30 years. The tour takes 75 minutes and reveals the secrets of our most popular themed gardens.

Every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 11am, departing from the Hamilton Gardens Information Centre. Drop in to join in on the tour or secure your place by booking online now.

  • $20 Adult
  • $13.50 Child 6-14 years 
  • Children 5 and under are free of charge

For more info, phone (07) 958 5940 or email bookings.gardens@hcc.govt.nz. Group bookings are welcome!

Cambridge local, John, had this to say in his review on Trip Advisor:

“If you are like us and have visited the gardens on many occasions then let me encourage you to take a guided tour on your next visit.

“For $20 the tour takes you around a number of the themed gardens and explains the stories behind each of the gardens which gave me an understanding which I've never got before by just wandering around.”

A visitor from Wellington shared this feedback:

 “The $20pp charge was great value as our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and we got an excellent overview of the different gardens and the history.

 “Brilliant. Highly recommended for all age groups including families.”

 


Information Centre and Gift Shop

Stocked with quality New Zealand made gifts, the Information Centre and Gift Shop is open from 9am to 5pm daily.

Don't miss a thing! Purchase a map for $2 and get the most out of your free visit to Hamilton Gardens.


Upcoming garden closures

At times some gardens may be closed temporarily for private events or maintenance. We apologise for any inconvenience.

August 2021

  • The Indian Char Bagh Garden will be closed Monday 2 - Friday 6 August for seasonal re-planting of the flower beds.
  • Saturday 14 August: Japanese Garden closed 3.30pm - 5.30pm

September 2021

  • Saturday 18 September: Italian Renaissance Garden closed 2pm - 5pm

October 2021

  • Saturday 9 October: Italian Renaissance Garden closed 2pm - 3.15pm

November 2021

  • Saturday 13 November: Italian Renaissance Garden closed 3pm - 5pm
  • Friday 26 November: Indian Char Bagh Garden closed 3pm - 6pm

December 2021

  • Saturday 4 December: Amphitheatre area of Italian Renaissance Garden closed 1.30pm - 3.30pm
  • Friday 10 December: Italian Renaissance Garden closed 2pm - 4pm
  • Sunday 12 December: Indian Char Bagh Garden closed 12pm - 1.15pm
  • Thursday 30 December: Mansfield Garden closed 3.30pm - 5.30pm

February 2022

  • Wednesday 2 February: Italian Renaissance Garden closed 2.30pm - 4.30pm

March 2022

  • Monday 7 March: Italian Renaissance Garden closed 3.45pm - 5pm

Seasonal highlights

Hamilton Gardens is a magical destination at any time of the year. If you're caught out with rainy weather, pop in and borrow an umbrella from our Information Centre. Feeling hot? There are free water fountains located throughout the gardens.

Summer

Around every corner there is a surprise, from reflections in the Cloud Court through to glimpses of the Waikato River from the Lawn Court. Look out for our flowering summer bedding in the Victorian Flower Garden and award winning roses in the Rogers Rose Garden.

  • English Flower Garden
    This traditional garden offers a rich assortment of colour during summer with its mixed borders and the beautiful white garden.
  • Italian Renaissance Garden
    Fragrant Seville orange trees are harvested for our bespoke marmalade, while ornamental grape vines drape the entrance pavilion.
  • Te Parapara Garden
    An abundance of traditionally planted rare kuumara (sweet potato) varieties on puke (mounds) are prepared for harvesting.

Autumn

Autumn provides a spectacular display of fiery oranges, reds and yellows throughout the gardens. Don’t miss the Italian Renaissance Garden with the changing colours of the Virginia Creeper and grape vines.

  • Japanese Garden of Contemplation
    While this garden is normally monochromatic, autumn is an exception with the maple trees creating vibrant reflections in the garden’s still waters.
  • Waikato River pathway
    Enjoy a picnic alongside New Zealand’s longest river, the Waikato River and enjoy the changing colours of the Swamp Cypress trees.
  • Tudor Garden
    Admire the ornamental planting in the knot gardens which were inspired by the drawings of 16th century gardener Thomas Hill, and the productive quince trees that we harvest for our quince paste.

Winter

Misty mornings give way to clear skies over dramatic structures and courtyards - a photographer’s dream! Additional highlights include the Bussaco Woodland magnolias in late winter, and look out for the native tūī bird in our flowering cherries.

  • Hammond Camellia Garden
    Camellias in full bloom provide a spectacular backdrop to views across the Gardens. This garden is worth the short steep climb.
  • Tropical Garden
    An oasis of colour throughout the year with palms, aloes and birds of paradise. Escape to a tropical paradise!
  • Rhododendron Lawn
    Take an early evening stroll in September and October to enjoy the vibrant colours of the rhododendrons, while admiring the other complementary shrubs such as Pieris, Azalea, Skimmia, and Leucothoe.

Spring

As temperatures slowly warm, an abundance of new growth from fresh foliage to blooming flowers emerge. The Victorian Flower Garden glasshouses continue to put on a magnificant show of colourful blooms, and take time to explore the cactus house.

  • Rogers Rose Garden
    The national Pacific Rose Bowl Festival is held in November at Hamilton Gardens and Rogers Rose Garden is rich with the scent of many varieties. Come along and vote for Rose of the Year!
  • Hillside Lawn
    Located beside the Gate 1 carpark, this lawn erupts into a cascading blaze of golden daffodils on the slope.
  • Kitchen Garden
    Be inspired by this productive garden as it emerges from winter with planting and preparation for warmer months.