Discover a quiet treat overlooking the busy Port Chalmers harbour. A converted quarry is now an outstanding garden retreat filled with cool climate plants. Planning a day trip to explore Port Chalmers your bucket list will feature Lady Thorn Rhododendron Garden.
Lady Thorn Rhododendron Garden highlights
- Glorious Port Chalmers & Otago Peninsula bays harbour views
- Woodland paths
- Plenty of seating among the major rhododendrons
- BBQ and picnic areas
A former bluestone quarry supplying cut rock for many notable buildings in Port Chalmers and Dunedin was a neglected weed filled quarry. In 1998 Port Chalmers and District Lions Club has been involved since 1998 in developing the old historical Port Chalmers blue stone quarry into a Rhododendron Dell in honour of the Late Lady Thorn, a former Mayoress of the town.
Rhododendrons, magnolias, flowering cherries, maples and spring bulbs.
Due to the steep side there are a number of stairs as well as upward and downward paths. The lookout is accessed by stairs providing visitors with sweeping views and a series of historic photos of the area.
The quarried brecia rock was used in the construction of many stone buildings in Dunedin and Port Chalmers in the 1800s.
Getting to Lady Thorn Rhododendron Garden from Port Chalmers?
WALKING: approx 450 metres distance from the centre of Port Chalmers with a steep climb from 5 metres to 35 metres.
DRIVING: Blueskin Rd to garden
- There is parking on site
- Open: Dawn to dusk all year round.
- No admission fees, donations are welcome
Lady Thorn Rhododendron Garden’s festivals
Lady Thorn Rhododendron Garden is the site for the Port Chalmers annual festival celebrating . Heritage Day Garden Fete at the Dell. Along with having a chance to take a wander through the dell, visitors can enjoy a variety of art, craft and plant stalls, while being entertained by live music. The Lions Club support a free shuttle will be available to take people from Port Chalmers Four Square up to the Lady Thorn Dell and back, throughout the day.
For more gardens to visit in Dunedin check out Dunedin Botanic Garden, Larnach Castle, Olveston House, Glenfalloch Garden and Restaurant, Lan Yuan Garden in a former quarry. And remember to check out the botanical bedding displays in front of the glorious Victorian architecture of the Dunedin Railway Station.
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