A botanic garden like no other, Hamilton Gardens is a 58 hectare world of horticultural skill and imagination.
One of the Hamilton-Waikato region's most visited attractions, Hamilton Gardens hasn't been developed in the manner of conventional botanic gardens. Instead, it explores the relationships between people and plants in five garden collections that are spread over 58 hectares.
Hamilton Gardens is home to Te Parapara - New Zealand's first traditional Maori garden. It showcases traditional practices, materials and ceremonies relating to food production and storage, drawn from the knowledge of local Maori which has been passed down the generations.
The Paradise Garden Collection includes gardens that represent China, England, Japan, America, Italy and India. Each garden is highly individual with a totally different design philosophy.
The Landscape Garden Collection encompasses Bussaco Woodland, Hamilton East Cemetery, Echo Bank Bush and Valley Walk. These gardens make the most of natural features and display different historic interpretations of an idealised landscape.
The Productive Garden Collection is all about gardens that are functionally useful. There's a herb garden, a kitchen garden and a sustainable backyard garden.
The Cultivar Garden Colleciton tells the stories of plants that have been selectively bred for the garden. It includes areas devoted to roses, camellias, rhododendrons and Victorian garden flowers.
Finally, but possibly most memorable of all, is the Fantasy Garden. Here imaginations have been allowed to run riot, with a special focus on the themes of 'perfume' and 'time'.
Hamilton Gardens provides the setting for regular events and festivals - especially during the summer months. The showpeice is the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival which take place in the second half of February each year.