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Hamilton gardens attractions, things to do

  • 3 minutes

Waikato, North Island

Hamilton Gardens is a glorious taste of what the Waikato has to offer visitors intent on enjoying cultivated spaces. Hamilton Gardens is a storyteller using plants and architectural features to describe the cultural elements of gardens around the world. Visitors are invited to take a seat and absorb the views before them. You walk through an extraordinary array of design styles with the doorway becoming ‘what’s next to see’ moment.

  • Themed gardens representing differing garden designs throughout the world
  • Interactive kids programme introducing children to sustainable gardening
  • Guided tours conducted by Hamilton Gardens through the 21 garden styles
  • A place to meet friends and family with a café overlooking the lake


Hamilton Gardens (public)

A storyteller of the world’s gardens where the world is interpreted with plantings, garden design and sympathetic sculptures.

How to get to the Hamilton Gardens

Entry to Hamilton Gardens is free. Free parking is available on site through Gate 1 and Gate 2. Your gardening senses are tantalized with the magnificent entry into the gardening world. The entrance traffic roundabout has a large Maori inspired flax mat artfully draped over entrance  sculptured gates.

The visitor centre, with its gift shop, educational and meeting rooms welcomes visitors with a description of the gardens and advice on the best way to view the gardens (depending on the season and personal interests). There is a cafe looking out over ponds.

Hamilton Gardens is designed and  created to tell the garden story from around the world. Featured gardens include: Japanese Garden, English and Chinese Gardens, a modernist American Garden and an Italian Garden with the Fantasy Garden becoming a firm favourite with visitors. Think about a Surrealist Garden and be surprised with the creative garden ideas as you saunter through one of Hamilton Gardens latest spaces.

The spacious rose garden on undulating ground is superb for a romantic stroll and contains the NZ Rose Trials and a French Rose Garden. There is a Camellia Garden and a wide lawn flanked by rhododendrons with stunning spring displays. On the upper level a colourful Victorian themed flower garden includes several well-stocked greenhouses planted in a similar theme.

Chinese Pagoda, Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand.
Chinese Pagoda, Hamilton Gardens
Hamilton Gardens greenhouse, Waikato, New Zealand
Hamilton Gardens greenhouse

Opening Hours and Tariffs

Check the Hamilton Gardens for up to date information.  Guided Tours are available and it is recommended pre-booking for the 75 minute guided tour. Bookings email is For further information regarding guided tours visitors can contact the Information Centre phone +64 7 838 6782.

Hamilton Gardens is owned and operated by Hamilton City Council. The Gardens is the Waikato Region’s most popular visitor attraction, attracting in excess of 1 million people and holding over 2,000 events each year.

The most-visited gardens are the American Modernist Garden followed by the Chinese Scholar’s Garden, English Flower Garden, Japanese Garden of Contemplation, Indian Char Bagh Garden, Maori Garden, The Italian Renaissance Garden, Tudor and Tropical Gardens. Hamilton Gardens are a hive of creativity with new spaces being constructed.

Tulips and other colorful flowers blooming in the Indian Char Bagh Garden in Hamilton Gardens, New Zealand
Tulips and other colorful flowers blooming in the Indian Char Bagh Garden
A close up of large orange-salmon rose of the 'Lady Emma Hamilton' variety in the garden on a sunny summer day, Waikato, New Zealand
Hamilton gardens

Hamilton Gardens – Rogers Rose Garden

The Rogers Rose Garden tells the story of the development of the modern rose through a series of themed areas that each focuses on a different aspect.


The themed areas of the Rogers Rose Garden include:

  • the species rose;
  • the Malmaison roses of Empress Josephine;
  • the development of the first hybrid tea by Jean-Baptiste Andre Guillot;
  • the ‘Peace’ rose, Mme Meilland and its descendants; and
  • recent cultivars, including past and present winners of the New Zealand Rose of the Year trials.

Pacific Rose Bowl Festival

The Pacific Rose Bowl Festival takes place at Hamilton Gardens every November under the Pacific Accord of Friendship – which also incorporates rose gardens in Adelaide, California and Japan. The legendary New Zealand rose breeder Dr Sam McGredy initiated the friendship with the common objective of promoting roses worldwide.

Hamilton Gardens, traditional Maori cultivation practices and storehouse, Waikato, New Zealand
Hamilton Gardens, traditional Maori cultivation practices and storehouse


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