Explore the mystical world of the Orient at Hamilton Gardens

Hamilton Gardens' Chinoiserie Garden expresses the fascination the West had with the mystique of the Orient in the 1700s.

Eighteenth century Europe experienced an unprecedented flow of imports from China and Japan like silk, porcelain and lacquerware, many of which were highly prized for their exotic decorative features. These Oriental pieces became so popular that Western artisans began to produce designs inspired by them in an attempt to take advantage of the craze. ‘Chinoiserie’ is the name of the resulting style that reinvented Chinese art and often produced work that was quite original. It was fashionable in Western Europe throughout the eighteenth century, reaching the height of popularity between 1750 and 1765.

The Chinoiserie Pavilion in the Perfume Garden is very closely modelled on the ‘Chinese House’ at the Stowe Landscape Gardens, United Kingdom, which was built in 1738. It is a reinterpretation of existing Chinese and Japanese designs as well as an expression of a pervasive Western fantasy of the mystique of the Orient. The Chinoiserie theme in this garden also includes the Bottle Gate and Chinoiserie seats.

Hamilton Gardens

Hamilton Gardens is a conceptual garden that explores the context, history and meaning of gardens through time, and from around the world. It is internationally recognised for its unique concept and is the Waikato region’s most popular tourist destination.

Only five minutes drive from Hamilton’s CBD, the Gardens is open 7 days a week during daylight hours and entry and parking is free. Access is off SH1, alongside Cobham Drive on the southern side of Hamilton.  Mobility scooters, wheelchairs and pushchairs are available to hire and guided tours are available.