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Mona Vale Gardens attractions and things to do in Christchurch

  • 3 minutes

Canterbury, South Island

A visual feast of classic garden design principles Mona Vale Gardens is on the #nzgardensmustvisit list. Together with Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Riccarton House & Bush visitors have three nationally significant gardens to linger while on holiday in Christchurch.

Mona Vale, Christchurch, NZ
Mona Vale, Christchurch, New Zealand

Mona Vale Christchurch top sights

  • Gardens with their superb displays of colour, form and design
  • Woodlands with shady walks
  • Cafe overlooking gardens
  • Avon River wending its way past Mona Vale
  • The stunning art and crafts heritage buildings nestled within Mona Vale
  • Enjoy a day exploring Christchurch’s natural spaces, Botanic Gardens, Hagley Park and Mona Vale with time for delicious foodie treats and a punt on the Avon River



Explore Mona Vale Gardens. Mona Vale is a beautiful melding of the original Arts & Craft style along with a fernery, bathhouse, formal rose beds, lily pond, winding paths, picturesque winding paths through mature trees and a substantial rhododendron collection. Woodland plantings thrive among a collection of mature exotic and native trees.

Mona Vale has the bonus of the Avon River winding its way through the property and punts are occasionally operating from the public gardens in the summer months.

Mona Vale, Christchurch, New Zealand
Mona Vale, Christchurch, New Zealand
Mona Vale, Christchurch, NZ
Mona Vale, Christchurch, NZ

Rhododendron Garden Mona Vale Christchurch

Rhododendron collection is planted along the original carriage way. Between 1991 and 1998 the plant collection was expanded by the MacLeod family, generously donating a few hundred rhododendrons and camellias in memory of their son.

Iris garden Mona Vale, Christchurch

A spring and early summer favourite, the Iris has its place at Mona Vale. The Iris Society developed a display garden in the 1970s and the collection has grown ever since. The soft fluttering Irises are a summer brightly coloured joy.

The Edwardian garden is reflected in the Bathhouse, Conservatory and Fernery and the current network of paths. The features have been muted with a ornamental pool now a quiet reflective lily pond and a less formal rose garden design.

Roses have been a feature of Mona Vale is the early 1900’s. The current rose bed originated in 1994 with the International RoseWorld Convention hosted in Christchurch. Visitors will enjoy viewing modern hybrids and heritage roses in this well tended garden.

Lily Pond is home to aquatic plants transformed the pool into the lily pond you see today. The historic Falconer Fountain sits as centrepiece was from the renowned Coalbrookdale Foundry.

Mona Vale, Christchurch, NZ
Mona Vale, Christchurch, NZ
Riccarton House & Bush, Christchurch, New Zealand
Riccarton House & Bush, Christchurch, New Zealand

Historic buildings & installations in Mona Vale gardens, Christchurch

Arts & Craft House

Now managed by the local government council the premises are open to the public as a catering and event venue. Many Arts and Crafts motifs survive. Look for carved flowers, leaves and berries in handcrafted posts, terracotta vents, friezes and the replica fireplace.

Are you interested in gardens and outdoors Christchurch activities, check out:

Unmissable is a punt on the Avon River. Pass the beautiful Christchurch Botanic Gardens on an irresistibly romantic slow river journey with your Edwardian clad punter.



Mona Vale Gardens Christchurch getting there and travel facts

What is the best time to visit Mona Vale Gardens, Christchurch?

The best time to visit Mona Vale Gardens is early to late spring.

  • Open 7am until dusk (9pm in Summer, 5pm Winter)
  • Admission is free

Mona Vale’s cafe, located inside the main homestead, is open for coffee and cake throughout the year.

Toilets: Located at near the Mona Vale car park, just behind the homestead.

Access: Suitable for wheelchairs and strollers.

Dogs on leash only


The public garden era witnessed various specialist gardening groups, within the Canterbury Horticultural Society creating display beds including the Rose Society, Fuchsia Circle, Heritage Rose Group, Dahlia Society, Iris Circle and Herb Society. Variations of these display gardens are still in place today.

There are guided walks of Mona Vale Gardens available in October – April and on request. Details on website or email

Christchurch Mona Vale Gardens restaurant is open Wednesday to Sunday from 9.00am-3.00pm during winter and in summer has extended opening hours.

There is a selection of cabinet food items, including our delicious buttermilk scones with thickened cream and fresh preserve, take away coffees, brunch/lunch menu and our famous High Tea Menu. Bookings are recommended for all services, and essential for the Mona Vale High Tea.

Mona Vale Cafe patio overlooks the Avon River, and is dog friendly. Relax in the stunning garden setting with a glass of local wine.

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


Learn more


Nearby is Riccarton Bush THE QUARTERS CAFE, hosting dinner parties, weddings, celebrations and events for local and overseas visitors alike. Check out more fascinating places in Christchurch eat and drink in style, 5 heritage places, great views – Best Bits.

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