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Lady Thorn Rhododendron Garden

  • 3 minutes

Dunedin, Otago

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

Fresh summer growth in the Lady Thorn Rhododendron dell, free public garden, with rock face in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
Fresh summer growth in the Lady Thorn Rhododendron dell, free public garden, with rock face in Dunedin
  • 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.

Port Chalmers Town Lady Thorn Rhododendron Dell, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
Lady Thorn Rhododendron Dell, Dunedin, Otago

What to do nearby Lady Thorn Rhododendron Garden

Lady Thorn Rhododendron Dell is situated nearby to Scott Memorial, and close to Port Chalmers zone substation.

For more gardens to visit in Dunedin check out Dunedin Botanic GardenLarnach CastleOlveston HouseGlenfalloch Garden and RestaurantLan 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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