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Christchurch Botanic Gardenswww.christchurchbotanicgardens.co.nz 

Location: Rolleston Avenue, Central Christchurch  - In a loop of the Avon River, bordered on three sides by the green expanse of Hagley Park
Opening Hours: Gates are open every day of the year at 7am. From April until September the gates close at 6.30pm

Admission: Free 
Features: At the heart of Christchurch’s reputation as the Garden City, the Gardens are a place of ever-changing beauty. Showcasing flora and fauna of New Zealand and other parts of the world, the Gardens feature one of the finest collections of exotic and local plants in New Zealand. With more than 1.1 million visitors each year the Botanic Gardens are one of the Christchurch's most popular and well-loved attractions. You can take a nice stroll around at your leisure or you can book and go on a guided tour
Also visit the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre - This is open daily from 8.30am - 5pm (except Christmas Day). Staff at the Visitor Centre are happy to provide information on how to make the most of your visit to the Gardens, with seasonal maps showing flowering highlights and other information relating to different parts of the Gardens. 
Ilex café is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike and the ideal spot to relax and enjoy a coffee or lunch in beautiful surroundings. Open from 8.30am - 5pm. 

Eden Garden -  www.edengarden.co.nz

Location: 24 Omana Ave, Epsom, Auckland
Opening Hours: Open daily from 9 am to 4:30 pm during the Summer (1st September through 30th April) and 9 am to 4 pm during the Winter (1st May through 31st August). Closed on Christmas Day but open every other day of the year.
he Cafe closes half an hour before the Garden every day.

Admission: $8 per adult, $6 for NZ senior citizens and students, children under 12 are free.
Visit this award winning Auckland garden and discover a wonderfully peaceful sanctuary in the heart of Auckland.  Wander through the 5.5 acre award-winning garden on the side of Mt Eden. Take a day or an hour to explore our many plant collections including perennials, vireyas, camellias, bromeliads and native New Zealand plants. There's always something in bloom. Enjoy the waterfalls, rock formations, resident native birds and fabulous city and harbour views. 

Hamilton Gardens -  www.hamiltongardens.co.nz

Location: Hungerford Crescent, Hamilton
Opening Hours: 7.30am year round
Admission: Free
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. This 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.

Botanica Whangarei - www.botanicawhangarei.co.nz

Location: 2 First Avenue, Whangarei
Opening Hours: Every day from 9am to 4pm. Closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day only
Admission: Free
Botanica is a horticultural complex where the public can come and enjoy a colourful and exotic range of plants. The facility  includes, a heated conservatory for tropical plants, a cactus house, an extensive fernery, a small Japanese style garden and a shade garden area. It is also available to hire for wedding ceremonies, photos, and other functions for a small fee, payable when making a booking. The area will accomodate a maximum of 50 people, and it also has a sound system and public address system available with speakers positioned throughout the complex. The entire complex covers an area of about 1 acre. Because of the high density of interesting plants you may want to allow half an hour to one hour for your visit. Botanica adjoins Cafler Park which has a fine collection of specimen trees, a small rose garden and scented gardens, all in a park like setting, including a stream and welcoming picnic areas.

The Elms Mission Station - www.theelms.org.nz

Location: 15 Mission Street, Tauranga
Opening Hours: Daily 10am - 4pm
Admission: Gardens - Free,   House & Library Tour - $5.00
Once the flourishing Te Papa Mission Station, now a tranquil oasis amid the bustle of the modern city of Tauranga, these buildings and gardens carry us back in time to the early nineteenth century. A family home for 150 years, the mission house is now a museum, showcasing the lives of the three generations who lived within its walls. The house was lived in from 1847 to 1992. The contents reflect the lives of all the occupants.The name was changed to The Elms in 1873, when active mission work ceased. 
The Elms historic house museum, the oldest European heritage site in the Bay of Plenty, is an essential stop for all visitors to the Bay of Plenty. From this traditional English home, Maori were given the opportunity to learn about Christianity, and were educated in reading and writing, as well as agricultural and domestic skill. A replica chapel was erected on the original site in 1965. It is now a popular wedding venue, with the gardens providing many opportunities for photographs.  The library has changed little since it was built in 1839, and still holds books belonging to the Rev Brown, and the Chruch Missionary Society. The early missionaries had to be self sufficient, and the wide range of topics covered by the books include theology, medicine, music and gardening.

Dunedin Botanic Garden - www.dunedinbotanicgarden.co.nz

Location: Lovelock Avenue, Opoho, Dunedin
Opening Hours: Daily 9 - 4
Admission: Free
The Dunedin Botanic Garden is New Zealand's first botanic garden and holds the status of Garden of International Significance. It has hill views from sunny lawns, more than 6,800 plant species and the song of wild native bellbirds, wood pigeons and tui. The Garden celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2013, marking its position as New Zealand’s first botanic garden. It occupies 30.4 hectares in North Dunedin at an altitude of 25 – 85 metres above sea level. Its wide range of horticultural and botanical collections includes roses, the herbaceous and perennial borders, a rock garden, New Zealand native plants and four hectares of Rhododendron Dell with more than 3,000 rhododendrons. An important aspect of The New Zealand Native plant collection is the cultivation of rare and endangered native plant species.
You will also find here: The Information Centre and Shop Open - 10am to 4pm - Closed - Christmas Day and Good Friday
                                  The Winter Garden Glasshouse - Open - 10am to 4pm
                                  The Alpine House - Open - 9am to 4pm
                                  Croque-O-Dile Cafe - Open – 9.30am to 4.30pm, Closed - Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day

Auckland Botanic Gardenswww.aucklandbotanicgardens.co.nz

Location: Situated right next to the Southern Motorway, on Hill Road, Manurewa
Opening Hours: Daily 7am - 6pm
Admission: Free
Features: Opened to visitors in February 1982, this is a young garden by both national and international standards, but has received many awards and much recognition over the past 25 years;  it's high visitor numbers reflect its quality and 
popularity. With 64 hectares and over 10,000 plants for you to explore, you could easily fill in the day here.  In Auckland's mild, moist climate a wide variety of plants can be successfully grown - from temperate to tropical regions as can be seen in the wide selection of plant collections. Auckland Botanic Gardens is a great place to learn more about plants and gardening. They have learning programmes which include programmes for teachers and school groups and a resource library with over 2500 titles. Also open daily is the visitor centre and cafe. 

Hollard Gardenswww.trc.govt.nz/hollard-home

Location: 1686 Upper Manaia Rd, Kaponga - Taranaki
Opening Hours: Daily 9 - 5
Admission: Free
Features: Hollard Gardens is the achievement of a lifetime's work by Bernie and Rose Hollard. It is a monument to patience and horticultural skill. It features intimate gardens, hidden paths, expansive lawns and swamp gardens, an events pavilion, children's play area - The Family Corner, barbecues and a gazebo. The garden is divided into the Old Garden (1927), the New Garden (1982) and the New Zealand Garden (1992). 
Way above head height in many areas, large rhododendrons drip with colourful trumpets while the scent of others infuses the air. And at ground level, butter-yellow poppies mingle happily with blue and maroon granny bonnets, and creamy bleeding hearts. Plant signs highlight the plants bred by Mr Hollard and others worthy of mention, for being rare or the oldest or largest one in New Zealand, for example. An abundance of azalea mollises are especially vibrant as these are plants that appreciate a good cold Kaponga winter.
Hollard Gardens has a children's play area - The Family Corner. There is also a free bbq and a pavilion with a kitchenette that is available by prior arrangement. The garden is available for weddings and other events. 
There is also a yearly calendar of public events including garden fairs and workshops. Check the website for details

Kerikeri Mission Stationwww.kerikerimissionstation.co.nz

Location: 246 Kerikeri Rd, Kerikeri
Opening Hours: 10am - 4pm May-Oct - 10am - 5pm Nov-April - Closed Christmas Day
Admission: Free 
Enjoy the beautiful surrounds featuring an array of heritage roses, a riverbank orchard, and English ‘cottage garden’ flowerbeds that encircle New Zealand’s oldest building, Kemp House, and soften the convict hewn sandstone and local basalt that were used to build the Stone Store. Magnificent specimen trees of Magnolia grandiflora, Jacaranda and Pohutukawa frame the buildings and provide welcome patches of shade on lawns that run down to the river.  Continuously cultivated for nearly 200 years New Zealand’s oldest European garden has been altered over time by circumstance and fashion; now the gardens’ layers of history are revealed as you explore the grounds. Discover millstones from the 1820s, a 100 year old Mulberry tree, and a well-kept gorse hedge, just some of the surprising elements to this site.  Maori gardens were lying fallow and covered in fern when missionaries arrived in 1819 to break up the ground for a new mission settlement at Kerikeri. Overseen by Ngapuhi chief Hongi Hika, from his Pa Kororipo, across the water, the fledgling settlement came to rely heavily on the gardens as a vital source of food when the missionaries refused to trade in guns with Hongi for pigs and potatoes. Using seed and rootstock brought with them from England, the missionaries planted extensive cereal crops, hundreds of fruit trees, and even a ‘Pleasure Garden’, complete with flowers and a seat. These gardens represented the beliefs, heritage and connection with the land the missionaries had left behind and their connection to the new land that was now their home.
Also visit the Stone Store Shop: free Guided tours - includes entry to Kemp House & Stone Store Museum $10 adults, unaccompanied children (up to 18 years) $3.50, accompanied children free Entry to Kemp House is by guided tour only to help preserve New Zealand's oldest building

Te Puna Quarry Park www.quarrypark.org.nz

Location: 108 Te Puna Quarry Road, runs off State Highway 2, 18km north of Tauranga.
Opening Hours: every day during daylight hours. If the main gates are closed, the park is still open to pedestrians and cars can be parked outside the gates
Admission: Free
Te Puna Quarry Park is being developed by a dedicated band of volunteers from a disused quarry into a world class park. This old scar on the hillside has already become a place of special beauty. From the upper levels there is a spectacular panoramic view out over the Bay of Plenty. There are ponds, tree ferns, cymbidium orchids by the thousand, native tree plantings and exotics such as vireya rhododendrons - a wild garden of infinite variety. Special garden areas include irises, cacti and succulents, an Australian area, a native Arboretum, a Bonsai corner, a South African area and a Palm Grove. We now have a butterfly garden where monarchs and admirals happlily fly free. Featured throughout the Park, are sculptures by local artists. The Quarry is now becoming popular as an exhibition area for outdoor art and also for weddings. The walking tracks are easy for the moderately fit. This is a place to enjoy, a place of nature and tranquility, of stunning views and great art. 

Queens Park www.icc.govt.nz/parks-and-reserves/queens-park

Location: Situated in the heart of Invercargill accessed from Gala Street and Queens Drive
Opening Hours: Daily - dawn until dusk
Admission: Free
Features: Several hours need to be put aside to explore the expanse of Queens Park, the 81ha jewel in the centre of the city, recognised rightly as one of the most important parks in New Zealand. 
From the elegant Feldwick Gates entrance off Gala Street, an avenue of English beech leads into the heart of this extensive park - all the major features can be explored from this impressive walkway. On the left is a dazzling display of modern roses while further to the west, plants sourced from the cluster of Sub-Antarctic Islands are displayed and the adjacent Jessie Calder Gardens incorporate a large collection of old fashioned shrub roses, heaths and irises. Queens Park is home to a significant collection of native plants and the azalea garden and rhododendron dell provide a good display into the early summer months. Further attractions include herbaceous borders, a rock garden, bog garden with adjoining ponds, authentic Japanese Garden and indoor "Winter Gardens" display houses.
Imaginations can run wild while exploring the large stumpery situated close to the superb aviary featuring some of New Zealand's native birds which are seldom seen in captivity. The animal reserve delights all ages with its variety of animals and birds while at the Southland Museum and Art Gallery, New Zealand's living dinosaur - the Tuatara - can be viewed at close quarters. The building also incorporates Invercargill's Visitor Information Centre. The many walk/cycle paths and tracks are complemented by a 3.4km long fitness track featuring 20 fitness stations and an 18 hole golf course. Throughout, Queens Park is enhanced by a variety of mature trees and shrubs, fine statuary, a large playground for the children with water play area and two excellent cafés


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