Around Town: Hamilton Gardens

In New Zealand, Hamilton seems to be known as the city where there is “nothing to do” because there are no large attractions. But coming from the US where 90% of the cities are towns without attractions, it didn’t phase me when the flight attendant warned us that we might get terribly bored. Having been here a week so far, I would say this town has more than enough to keep someone happy: a museum, an art scene, authentic restaurants, a university, a rugby team, parks, shops, and an outstanding garden.


Hamilton Gardens is by far the most visited attraction in Hamilton and possibly the Waikato region. I believe that this garden alone puts Hamilton on the map as a place to visit… it is absolutely gorgeous AND FREE. It is managed by Hamilton City Council and volunteers run many services, including the Information Center. There is also a delightful cafe on the lakeside with a stunning view.

The gardens have been thoughtfully designed to show off plants of certain regions and plants that are cultivated for use. The sections include: Paradise Garden Collection, Cultivar Garden Collection, Productive Garden Collection, and Landscape Garden Collection.

We were there on Sunday for about 4 hours and only made it to half of the gardens, but we did also enjoy the bustling cafe for 45 minutes. At the main pavilion they were holding a Wedding Expo showing off all the packages they had for ceremonies and receptions, which could’ve been why it was quite busy.

These are from around the central lake area.


Here is our lunch at Hamilton Gardens Cafe which overlooks the lake. We had a cinnamon cappuccino and vegetarian frittata. Image

Some of the wildlife around the cafe…Image

The start to our garden tour:ImageImageImage

It began to drizzle here, then the sun came back out!

This is a mix of the Te Parapara Maori garden, Fantasy garden, and Kitchen garden.Image

Some of the spectacular plants we saw throughout!Image

We enjoyed it immensely and will be back again to see the rest!


One thought on “Around Town: Hamilton Gardens

  1. Dearest Elizabeth & Chris: Thanks SO much for keep us posted on your tour. Know your family must miss you, but enjoy while you are young!! Lots of Love, Bee Hobbs

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