Hamilton Gardens


The Garden

Telling the story of gardens through themed garden collections, Hamilton Gardens explores different civilisations , and recreates historically important garden styles from the farthest reaches of the world.

Visitors are guided on a journey of discovery along paths leading to mysterious surprises: step from a peaceful Sung Dynasty Chinese Scholar’s garden into an Italian Renaissance Garden, before being enthralled by the grandeur of the Indian Char Bagh Garden. Hamilton Gardens has 21 themed garden areas with more being developed.

Hamilton Gardens is not a botanical garden. Instead, its unique and internationally recognised concept has been compared to a museum. Each garden collection has historic integrity and provides a window into the story of civilisations, their arts, beliefs and life styles. 

Hamilton Gardens has five Garden Collections and 21 themed gardens.

  • The Paradise Garden Collection illustrates the gardener’s desire to create paradise on Earth. The English word ‘paradise’ derives from the Old Persian ‘pairidaeza’, meaning simply ‘enclosed garden’.
  • The Landscape Garden Collection focuses on landscape garden traditions that have been inspired by different philosophical perspectives throughout history. Landscapes as artefacts contain a richness of expression and a subtlety, which can illuminate our relationship with the natural world.          
  • The Productive Garden Collection is a group of gardens that illustrate the relationship between people and productive plants. They demonstrate that the process of gardening can be understood from the perspective of Nature as well as of culture. 
  • The Cultivar Garden Collection: Gardens that contain plant collections demonstrating the story of plants that have been bred for the garden.
  • The Fantasy Garden Collection illustrates the use of fantasy and imagination in garden design, and the use of garden design to stimulate fantasy and imagination in visitors.
View Map


Garden Details

Hamilton Gardens is located on State Highway 1, just south of central Hamilton in the North Island of New Zealand.
Access from Cobham Drive by either Gate 1 or 2 will take you directly to parking near most of the main facilities. During the weekends you are more likely to find plenty of parking from Gate 2.

Postal address:
Hamilton Gardens
Private Bag 3010
Waikato Mail Centre
Hamilton 3240
New Zealand
07 838 6782
07 838 6801
Contact Person
Hamilton Gardens
Hamilton Gardens is a public park and is open year-round. The enclosed themed gardens are open during day-light hours.
Garden Size
The Gardens cover 54 hectares and include a municipal nursery, Hamilton East Cemetery and 21 themed gardens. The enclosed sector covers a much smaller area and is suitable to be viewed within a few hours.
Entry and parking to the Gardens is free.
Brochure Available?
A site map and brochure is available at the Information Centre.
Access from Cobham Drive by either Gate 1 or 2 will take you directly to parking near most of the main facilities. During the weekends you are more likely to find plenty of parking from Gate 2.
Toilets are located near Gate 1 entrance, and beside the Hamilton Gardens Pavilion.
Cafe/Resaurant Available
The Hamilton Gardens Cafe and Lakeside Function Centre is located next to Turtle Lake, not far from the main carpark and Information Centre.
Seating is dotted around the site, with most gardens having a covered shelter in case of rain.
The Gardens is perfect for picnics. Sit beside Waikato River, Turtle Lake or choose any of the gardens to picnic in.
Wheelchair Access
The Gardens is suitable for wheelchairs, mobility scooters and pushchairs, however there are some enclosed gardens which may not suit. But please chat to the Information Centre team and they can assist.
Wheelchairs, mobility scooters and pushchairs are available for hire at the Information Centre.
Dogs Allowed
Dogs on a leash are allowed through the wider gardens area, although they are excluded from the enclosed garden sector. An off-lead area for exercising your pooch is available beside Turtle Lake car-park.
Children Allowed
The Discovery Trail activity sheet takes children on a journey where they can explore an enchanting world of secret themed gardens.
Behind every door at Hamilton Gardens there is a magical story and a portal through time and to far-flung corners of the world. The free activity sheet can be picked up from the Information Centre, or downloaded from the website.
Marry amongst the grandeur of an Italian Renaissance Garden or chose the romantic English Flower Garden for your nuptials followed by a heavenly indulgent high-tea.
Hamilton Gardens provides magical backdrops for your special day and is the ideal venue to delight your guests. Our pavilion can seat between 50 and 600 people for your reception. Private wedding receptions can be arranged in any of the enclosed gardens, and closed to the public.
Hamilton Gardens is a beautifully unique venue and the themed gardens will provide a magical backdrop to wedding photographs you will treasure.
Plants/Other Sales
Seasonal plants are available for purchase from the Information Centre.
Guided Tours
Be guided through nine themed gardens and learn the ‘inside story’ of how the Gardens was transformed from a rubbish dump into an internationally significant garden. Discover paths leading to mysterious surprises: step from a peaceful Sung Dynasty Chinese Scholar’s garden into a Japanese Garden of Contemplation, before being enthralled by the grandeur of the Indian Char Bagh Garden.
Spend longer Follow your guided tour with morning or afternoon tea, or perhaps a decadent lunch overlooking the Italian Renaissance Garden.
Enjoy morning and afternoon tea, or lunch in the Gardens, followed by a scenic boat cruise through the city, or perhaps a enjoy a Maori inspired lunch in Te Parapara Garden – which was once the home of Haanui, a famous Ngati Wairere chief.
We can be flexible with tour times and can cater to tours with time constraints, or with particular interests. Foreign language guide sheets are available in eight languages and foreign language speaking guides can be arranged.
Call us for more information or to book a guided tour.
Function Center Available?
The Hamilton Gardens Pavilion is a flexible and convenient venue that can be booked for a wide range of events. The rooms in the Pavilion range from a large ballroom with a seating capacity of up to 500 to an intimate lounge with its own secluded patio. The Gardens is ideal for large black-tie charity balls through to public exhibitions and right down to the smaller planning days, seminars and workshops. The four conference rooms can hold up to 650 for concurrent sessions.
Other Facilities

The Waikato River Explorer operates scenic river cruises year-round and is available for charter at other times.

Find all our events on whatsonhamilton.co.nz.

A number of arboriculture, horticulture, floristry, landscape design and horticultural technology courses are offered by Wintec at Hamilton Gardens. For more information visit www.wintec.ac.nz or call in to the Horticulture Education Centre in Hamilton Gardens.