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  Hamilton Gardens

AddressPostal address: Private Bag 3010 Hamilton. The gardens are located alongside Cobham Drive (State Highway 1) at the southern end of Hamilton City. If you are coming from the north, look for Hamilton Gardens on your right just after crossing the river. If you are travelling on State Highway One from the south, look for the signed entrances into the first large park on your left before you cross the river.
Privately owned or publicPublic
PhoneInformation centre (64) 07 838 6782.
Fax (64) 07 838 6801
Contact PersonTo contact the Hamilton Gardens Information Centre phone (07) 838 6782 For bookings phone (64) 07 8386 782
HoursThe central theme gardens are open from 7.30 am to 5.30 pm in winter and 8pm in summer.
Garden SizeHamilton Gardens covers an area of 58 hectares
PriceAdmission to all areas of Hamilton Gardens is free.
Brochure Available?We provide free layout maps the gardens and the region's most comprehensive collection of brochures for visitor attractions and services.
ParkingWhile the Turtle Lake Carpark accessed from Gate 1 is sometimes full at peak times there are alternative spaces in the carparks from Gate 2, particularly in the Camellia Carpark.
ToiletsYes. The toilets towards the Information Centre, accessible from Gate 1, are wheelchair accessible and there is a toilet for disabled people in the Hamilton Gardens Pavilion.
Food AvailableThe Garden Terrace Café is open every day from 9am to 5pm in winter, and from 9am to 6pm in summer, The Cafe offers a comprehensive range of snacks, ice creams, morning and afternoon teas and light lunches. The Garden Terrace Restaurant is open from 11.30am and is an ideal venue for late afternoon and evening functions and it provides a catering service for functions.To contact the Garden Café and Garden Terrance Restaurant for bookings or enquiries Phone (07) 856 6581
Cafe/Restaurant available?Yes
SeatingThere are many strategic contemplation spots.
PicnicsAll organised events in Hamilton Gardens require a booking. This includes large organised picnics.
Wheelchair AccessMost paths in the gardens are at less than a one in twelve grade. However the paths up to the Camellia Carpark and Victorian Flower Garden are steeper and we advise parking in the Camellia Carpark accessible from Gate 2 for easier access to the top areas of Hamilton Gardens. Two Mobility Scooters are available for hire from the Hamilton Gardens Information Centre. The charge is $5.00 per hour and a refundable bond of $20 is required. The time limit is two hours and instructions for their use can
Dogs AllowedDogs are permitted on a lead in all areas at Hamilton Gardens except for the enclosed theme garden area between the Pavilion & river. They are permitted off a lead on the Hillside Lawn below the cemetery. Site maps defining these areas are available on site.
Children AllowedParents of young children are discouraged from letting young children wander unaccompanied around Hamilton Gardens. Apart from the dangers inherent in any public park there are several water features and steep banks.
WeddingsA $55 booking fee is payable for all weddings in the gardens. All weddings bookings are for a period of one and quarter hours. Generally this means the booking starts about 15 minutes before the start of the ceremony, which allows an hour for the ceremony. The demand for weddings at certain times in some gardens has meant that the number of weddings has had to be limited to allow for general public visits: so it pays to book early.
Plant/Other SalesGeneral garden souvenirs.
Guided ToursGuided tours can be arranged through the Hamilton Gardens Information Centre. The price is $5.00 per person, with group and School discounts available by prior arrangement. Sometimes specialist guides can be arranged for specific groups, such as a Mandarin speaker or a knowledgeable horticulturalist. Phone (64) 07 838 6782. FAX (64) 07 838 6801 or Email
Function center?No
Other FacilitiesEducation & Research for those interested training opportunities, educational visits or some of the research and trials going on at Hamilton Gardens.

About 2,000 events are held at Hamilton Gardens each year. They are held in the central events centre, the Hamilton Gardens Pavilion, and a diverse variety of garden venues.

Booking is essential for any event at Hamilton Gardens and this is done by contacting
The Customer Service Manager
Phone (64) 07 8386 782
FAX (64) 07 838 6801


The Garden

The unique theme of Hamilton Gardens is 'the story of gardens' which is explored through a series of five garden collections.

Paradise Garden Collection: Gardens that illustrate the gardener’s desire to create paradise on Earth.
- The Chinese Scholar’s Garden: a traditional Chinese garden from the Sung Dynasty (10th – 12th centuries).
- The Japanese Garden of Contemplation: a garden from the Muromachi period (14th – 16th centuries).
- The English Flower Garden: an Arts and Crafts style garden, based on the garden design of Gertrude Jekyll and the architecture of Edwin Luytens.
- The American Modernist Garden: a 20th century garden in the West Coast style of Thomas Church.
- The Italian Renaissance Garden: based on 15th-16th century gardens of the flowering of modern European culture.
- The Indian Char Bagh Garden: a ‘Kursi-cum-char-bagh’ (riverside garden) based on the 15 - 16th century gardens of the Mughal Emperors.

The Landscape Garden Collection: some of the main landscape garden traditions, which have been inspired by different philosophical perspectives throughout history.
- The Buçaco Woodland: named after the famous Portuguese walled forest, this garden illustrates the idea that spiritual enlightenment can be attained by rejecting worldly concerns and communing with nature.
- The Park Cemetery: the Hamilton East Cemetery has been preserved and maintained as an example of public cemetery parks from the late 19th to early 20th centuries.
- The Echo Bank Bush: an area of remnant indigenous flora, maintained in the modern Conservationist/Ecological tradition.
- The Valley Walk: a modern landscape garden in the Naturalistic/Aesthetic style, which is guided by the imperatives of location and region.
- Proposed Gardens: The Formal Landscape Garden; The English Landscape Garden.

The Productive Garden Collection: a group of gardens that illustrate the relationship between people and productive plants.
- Te Parapara: named after the pre-European pa that stood on the site of Hamilton Gardens, Te Parapara illustrates traditional Maori agrarian practice.
- The Herb Garden: culinary, cosmetic, perfume and medicinal herbs planted in the style of a traditional herb garden.
- The Kitchen Garden: A traditional 18th/19th Century European Kitchen Garden worked on by students of Wintec.
- The Sustainable Backyard: an example of a small garden that illustrates permacultural and ecological principles as they can be applied in a family backyard.

The Cultivar Garden Collection: Gardens that contain plant collections demonstrating the story of plants that have been bred for the garden.
- The Rogers Rose Garden: a rose garden demonstrating the history and development of the rose from the species to the modern hybrids. It includes a major NZ rose trial ground and has recently been presented with the 'Garden of Excellence Award' by the World Federation of Rose Societies.
- The New Zealand Cultivar Garden: collections of cultivars bred from New Zealand’s indigenous plants.
- The Rhododendron Lawn: a selection of species and cultivars focussing on the development of the modern azalea and rhododendron.
- The Hammond Camellia Garden: a garden with species and modern cultivars.
- The Victorian Flower Garden: this garden includes the original greenhouses and beds featuring plants bred for colour and displayed in the Gardenesque tradition.

The Fantasy Garden Collection (under development): these gardens illustrate the use of fantasy and imagination in garden design, and the use of garden design to stimulate fantasy and imagination in visitors.

The Gardener

Hamilton Gardens is a public park owned and managed by the Hamilton City Council.
Click on any image below to enlarge
Chinese Scholar's Garden
Japanese Garden of Contemplation
Italian Renaissance garden
Italian Renaissance garden
American Modernist Garden
Te Parapara
Indian Char Bagh Garden
Time Court
Nymphaeum in Italian Renaissance Garden
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