Founded over 150 years ago, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens is the green heart of the Garden City.
Founded in 1863 with the planting of an English oak tree, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens have grown from small beginnings to become a much-loved destination for Cantabrians and visitors alike. Over the years natural wetlands and sand dunes have been transformed into an elegantly cultivated 21 hectare park with more than 10 different gardens framed by mature trees and expansive lawns, which are mostly contained within a loop of the Avon River.
If you enter from Rolleston Avenue, next to the Canterbury Museum, you'll walk past annual bedding displays and across the archery lawn to the rose garden. For much of the year, the collection of modern and cultivar roses make this a colourful and fragrant place. Adjacent to the rose garden is the New Zealand garden, which provides an introduction to native species. The conservatory complex displays everything from cacti and succulents to tropical orchids and carnivorous plants.
The Christchurch Botanic Gardens are open every day from 7am and admission is free. The Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre, open daily from 8.30am - 5pm, houses a gift shop with an array of locally sourced products, many with a botanical theme, as well as a café and a permanent interactive exhibition.