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public garden

Christchurch Botanic Gardens

Rolleston Avenue, Central Christchurch.


Founded in 1863 with the planting of an English oak tree, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens are extensive and contain an impressive array of plant collections that delight at any time of year.

Annual Bedding Displays
Spectacular formal spring and summer bedding displays have been a feature of the Armstrong Lawn since the late 19th century.

Azalea and Magnolia Garden
Nestled beneath a canopy of mature oaks and silver birches is the Azalea Garden. Equally well established is the large and impressive collection of Magnolias which flower from August to October. The azaleas flower for around a month from mid-October.

We are fortunate to have multiple conservatories in the Botanic Gardens, filled with fantastic collections of plants. Garrick House contains the most extensive publicly owned collection of cacti and succulents in New Zealand. Cuningham House is a large, stately structure of architectural importance where an extensive collection of tropical plants are displayed. Townend House is our flowering conservatory with a seasonal display of popular greenhouse plants. Our Fernhouse highlights New Zealand fern and Foweraker House houses alpine plants.

Central Rose Garden
This Rose Garden is formal in design and ideally situated near the conservatories in a sunny, sheltered site away from large trees. Nestled comfortably on the southwest aspect of the conservatory complex, this area of the Gardens gets good protection from prevailing winds.

Herbaceous Border
Believed to be the longest herbaceous border in a public garden in the Southern Hemisphere, this border with its rich tapestry of colour, texture and scent was developed in the early 1920s.

New Zealand Gardens
The New Zealand Gardens are an important feature of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and a special place to visit. These Gardens were established at its present location in the early 1900s. Over several decades this garden has evolved into a fine collection of hundreds of New Zealand species including the iconic silver fern.

Other Gardens and Features

The Heritage Rose Garden near Christchurch Hospital has been a special part of the Gardens since the early 1950s.

The Temperate Asian Collection is a long border which runs between the Archery Lawn and the Avon River.

The Water Garden is ideally situated with a backdrop of mature trees and shrubs.

The Daffodil Woodland extends over two hectares on the south-west side of the Avon River in Hagley Park.

The Gardener

Today the gardens are tended by a dedicated team of Christchurch City Council Collection Curators and gardeners.

Garden Size

21 hectares (51 acres) of botanic gardens and park surrounded by the Avon River.


The Christchurch Botanic Gardens offers a number of spectacular locations to choose from for your wedding or civil union. Make your once-in-a-lifetime moment unforgettable in our stunning setting. It is essential that you book your wedding or photo session. Please note that payment must be made at the time of booking. Choose from five outdoor garden spaces and enjoy the ambience of a wedding or civil union in our breathtaking natural surrounds. Visit the Christchurch Botanic Gardens website for more information.

Other Facilities

There are a number of important artworks on display around the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, amassed through acquisitions and donations throughout the history of the Gardens.


  • Price
    Free entry.
  • Parking
    There are two large public car parks in the Botanic Gardens, one at the Riccarton Avenue entrance and one at the Armagh Street entrance. You are welcome to park in either of these places for up to 180 minutes free of charge. There are four disability car parks in the Riccarton car park and five disability car parks in the Armagh car park. Mobility cards must be displayed in vehicles. There is also an electric car charger in the Armagh St car park.
  • Wheelchair Access
    For those with limited mobility, we provide three mobility scooters for use within the Gardens and Hagley Park during Visitor Centre opening hours at no charge. Bookings can be made prior to your visit through the Visitor Centre, phone (03) 941 7590.
  • Dogs allowed?
    Dogs are not permitted within the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.
  • Cafe/Restaurant available?
    You'll find great options to eat, shop and dine nestled within the peaceful environment of the Gardens. Visitor Centre & ilex Cafe. Open 8.30am to 5.00pm Closed Christmas Day. duck.duck is a summer outlet located in the refurbished Botanic Gardens Tea Kiosk next to the playground. The Curator's House, off Rolleston Ave, was originally built in 1920 for the curator of the Botanic Gardens but today serves authentic Spanish cuisine and tapas. Open 7 Days for lunch, dinner and tapas.
  • Picnics
    Walk the long broad paths or relax with a picnic amongst our ancient trees. There is a multitude of picnic spots suitable for every group.
  • Children allowed?
    The children's playground and paddling pool (summer only) are a popular part of the Botanic Gardens and a great place to entertain the kids. You'll find the play area near the Armagh Street footbridge off the carpark. Looking for a great family activity? Incorporate a game into your visit with our fun treasure hunt. Explore the Botanic Gardens with our free treasure hunt. Each season we have new items for you to hunt and find.
  • Toilets?
    There are accessible toilets at the front of the Gardens towards the back of the Museum building and in the Visitor Centre. There are also toilets and changing rooms next to the children's playground.
  • Seating
    Outdoor seating available throughout the Gardens.
  • Plants/Sales
    The award-winning Visitor Centre is home to our gift shop which stocks a carefully selected range of beautiful, botanically inspired home and giftware. It's a lovely place to browse for a unique souvenir or special gift idea for friends and family. To contact staff at the gift shop call (03) 941 7590. The Friends of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens have a small plant stall close to the Armagh St Bridge entrance.
  • Function Center?
    The Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre houses a function room, ilex café and a permanent exhibition which tells the story of Christchurch and Canterbury through plants and gardening.
  • Guided Tours
    Walking Tour Volunteer guides from the Friends of the Botanic Gardens conduct guided tours daily from mid-September through to the end of April, at a cost of $10 per person. These provide an introduction to the Gardens, their history, management and seasonal highlights. Tours are 1.5 hours and depart daily from the Canterbury Museum entrance at 1.30 pm, returning at 3 pm. Alternatively, group tours with volunteer guides can be arranged at any time. To make an enquiry or book a tour, phone (03) 384 3475. Shuttle Tour Caterpillar Garden Tours operate a guided audio tour of the Gardens in electric shuttles. Summer: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm daily (November – March) Winter: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm daily (April – October) Bookings and enquiries Botanic Garden Caterpillar Tour on 0800 88 22 23 or info@gardentour.co.nz.


Rolleston Avenue, Central Christchurch.