With miles of open lawns and vibrant flower beds, this serene area of parkland ensures Christchurch’s reputation as a garden city.
Stroll beside the gently flowing Avon River in the shade of lush pines and exotic palm trees at Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Admire native roses as well as greenhouses full of cacti and carnivorous plants.
Founded in 1863, the garden began with the planting of an English oak tree. An array of flora and fauna now covers an area of 30 hectares (74 acres), divided into 10 separate gardens that form a loop along the banks of the river.
Enter this peaceful haven and make your way to the colourful rose garden. Along with traditional red flowers you will find this area lit up by hybrid-teas and ramblers.
Continue to the nearby New Zealand garden where you will discover a selection of indigenous plants. You won’t miss the bright Kowhai and Rata that stand alongside the nation’s highly distinctive ferns, many of which don’t grow anywhere else in the world.
An undoubted highlight of the garden is the conservatory complex. Whatever the time of year you can come here to marvel at tropical orchids and a range of cacti. Be sure to pay a visit to the carnivorous flytraps and tall sarracenia.
Back outside, head to the grassy fields where you can lie back and relax in the sun. Watch as people play in the gardens and boats punt by on the river.
If you would rather a more luxurious route around the garden, hop on the caterpillar train. For a small fee it runs regular tours around the grounds, stopping at all the gardens’ most impressive sights. A local guide will inform you about the variety of plants you see.
Christchurch Botanic Gardens are on Rolleston Avenue in the heart of the city. There is a small visitor centre and a café that serves drinks and snack food. The garden is open all year and entry is free.