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Christchurch Botanic Gardens attractions and things to do

  • 2 minutes

Canterbury, South Island

Scenic Christchurch Botanic Gardens, top sights and getting around

Discover inviting paths leading to rose scented gardens and majestic trees encouraging visitors to relax on nearby seats. Nearby the Christchurch Botanic Gardens is where it’s all happening with the buzz of the Arts Centre. The Canterbury Museum (temporarily closed) is nestled into one of Christchurch Botanic Gardens corners and the heritage tram trundles past.



Christchurch Botanic Gardens, New Zealand
Christchurch Botanic Gardens, New Zealand

Christchurch Botanic Gardens top sights

  • Amazing swaths of daffodils drifting through the grass with bursts of cherry blossom heralding spring
  • Summer blooms with an extensive rose collection and native bushes encouraging tui (native birds) to forage
  • Mature deciduous trees create autumn displays with the grounds carpeted in burnt orange and faded summer glory
  • Winter enjoy time in toasty warm conservatories
  • Caterpillar Garden Tours is a year round delight and it’s free. Enjoy slowly touring the gardens wrapped in a complimentary rug listening to a garden guide describing the seasonal happenings
  • Enjoy a day with a seamless melding from the Avon River punting visitors through the gardens to Hagley Park. Christchurch has a garden and park at its heart complete with the picturesque Avon River
  • Enjoy a day exploring Christchurch’s scenery with time for delicious foodie treats

The Christchurch Botanic Gardens are a veteran in New Zealand public gardens (established 1863). The 75 acres host an extensive collection of exotic and indigenous plants.

Punting in the rain, River Avon, Christchurch, New Zealand
Punting in the rain, River Avon, Christchurch, New Zealand
Rose Garden arches at the Botanical Gardens in Chrictchurch, New Zealand
Rose Garden arches at the Botanical Gardens in Chrictchurch, New Zealand

Caterpillar tours Christchurch Botanic Gardens

The perfect way to get around the gardens is to hop aboard the Caterpillar tour. It is free. Operating a continuous daily service, Caterpillar Garden Tours allows visitors to explore the garden while at the same time being taken around the gardens in all weather. The tours have an on board commentary on an environmentally friendly electric shuttle. If the weather is cold you are provided with warm rugs to ensure you enjoy the experience.  There are regular stops for photo opportunities. The guide / driver changes the route with the season and the plantings on display.

Christchurch Botanic Gardens Playground

  • Paddling pool (unsupervised)
  • Play equipment: swings, slides, multi-play structures and climbing towers
  • Location: Armagh Street car park entrance

For outdoors activities for families and kids check out:

Christchurch 15 top picnic spots – Best Bits

Christchurch best short walks

Christchurch things to do for free – Best Bits

Margaret Mahy playground

Margaret Mahy playground water fun Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
The peace train @Christchurch City Council
The peace train @Christchurch City Council

Ride the peace train

The Peace Train is free to ride, wheelchair accessible and runs every Sunday  from September to April, between 10am and 2pm.

Each trip takes approximately 8 minutes. The last ride of the day will leave at approximately 1.45pm.

The train can’t operate in wet weather so will be cancelled if it’s raining. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for cancellations.

The Peace Train leaves from behind the kiosk in Christchurch Botanic Gardens and follows the loop pathway around the playground following the Ōtākaro-Avon River.

Christchurch Botanic Gardens is a premier Canterbury attraction. Spend a day exploring the gardens, the museum and nearby Christchurch Art Gallery. The Riverside Markets are a short walk (15 minutes) away from the beautiful natural spaces in the heart of the city.

Taking the bus to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens
The nearest bus stops are on Riccarton Avenue, with routes 3, 5, 80 and 86 stopping here. Metroinfo Christchurch public bus network has up-to-date bus information.

The Christchurch Botanic Gardens has three-hour parking at Armagh Street and Riccarton Avenue. In summer or when events are held it is often very difficult to get a car park. Expect to walk from the nearby city centre public car parks or use public transport instead.

Want a bite to eat while visiting christchurch botanic gardens?

  • Christchurch Botanic Gardens cafes
  • Arts Centre on Hereford St is home to delicious food trucks, ice creams and cafes
  • Riverside Markets with its array of foodie treat is 2.2 km walking distance
  • Mona Vale Garden cafe

Walk, enjoy delectable eats, perhaps punt on the Avon River.


Learn more

Still not sure where to eat while on holiday in Christchurch, check out fascinating places in Christchurch eat and drink in style, 5 heritage places, great views – Best Bits.

For more ideas about your holiday in Christchurch scroll through Things to do in Christchurch places to visit, attractions, activities & heritage and plan to stay awhile in the gateway city to the South Island.


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