Hamilton Gardens
Hamilton Gardens
5
About
Explore an enchanting world of secret gardens. Transport yourself through time and to far-flung corners of the world. Meander through a lush tropical jungle, visit ancient China and indulge yourself in a Renaissance Prince's 16th century garden. Five garden collections have been created to delight the senses, with some garden concepts reaching back 4,000 years. Hamilton Gardens is a conceptual garden based in the Waikato that explores the context, history and meaning of gardens through time, and from around the world. It is internationally recognised for its unique concept and is the Waikato region's most popular tourist destination. Only five minutes drive from Hamilton's CBD, the Gardens is open 7 days a week during daylight hours and entry and parking is free. Access is off SH1, alongside Cobham Drive on the southern side of Hamilton.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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  • Tuna
    Christchurch, New Zealand48 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Exceptional gardens
    Took my family around parts of the North Island and we had a day in Hamilton. Hamilton Gardens is phenomenal. We were so captivated by the gardens and ended up spending the whole day roaming around. Even better, it's free to enter with free parking.
    Visited September 2022
    Traveled with friends
    Written August 21, 2023
  • Jane C
    185 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wow
    Wow!!! I was going to give Hamilton a miss and then someone I knew who had recently visited said to make sure I didn't miss the Hamilton Gardens. How right they were!! These are incredible! A series of interconnected secret worlds. Amazing what has been done here and amazingly such a place is free to visit. It would be lovely to return and visit in the different seasons to see each garden change. As I said to friends on the day, worth the flight to NZ jsut to see this.
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 24, 2023
  • Trail586825
    14 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Enclosed gardens well worth a look and much bigger than you would think
    We only had time to look through the Enclosed Garden but this too us several hours as it is enormous and currently building even more. Something different around every turn, and our kids, 13 and 11, loved it. I expected it to be much smaller. We could easily have spent 4 hrsat the gardens i think to seethe rest. Even in winter it was seriously impressive.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 27, 2023
  • Joyman L
    Perth, Australia1,730 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Themed gardens
    Visited in May 2023 We visited in the afternoon. The gardens had plenty of parking that can accommodate campervans. Free entry attraction, it was very busy during our visit. The gardens are divided into many different themes and sections which were pleasant and interesting to see. During our visit some sections are still being implemented which is nice to see that the gardens are constantly changing to allow different experience for every visit. Pathways are wheelchair and pram friendly and this garden definitely sets itself apart from others by bringing something unique and fun. Would recommend dropping by as it is also kid-friendly.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 13, 2023
  • Julie S
    Pretoria, South Africa105 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A magical garden
    It is such an amazing privilege to go to such an exquisite place …. For free ! What a privilege to walk through such magnificent gardens created obviously by very passionate and creative people. I loved it so much that will try and visit at least once more before venturing back home. Well done to all involved creating this magic and of course many thanks. Absolutely beautiful.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written October 2, 2023
  • Anne W
    9 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A colour of beauty and amazement
    WOW! I was blown away. I read in tour books about the gardens and how wonderful they were but had not seen any pictures. In some way I was glad as any photos do NOT do the gardens justice. One just has to walk through the different themed walled gardens and be amazed at the splendor of their creation and the amount of effort that goes into keeping the gardens maintained. Currently the gardens are free but next year there will be a fee and rightly so. My favourite was the Indian and Japanese Gardens. Allow at minimum 3 hours ( I spent over 4 hours and for me that wasn't long enough) to appreciate the beauty. Because of the way the gardens are designed the map is a little hard to understand and the themed gardens venture in all directions so it is easy to miss some. If you have the opportunity this is a must
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written November 9, 2023
  • KJD
    Leander, Texas7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A different world awaits you
    Beautiful gardens where you can stay one hour or several hours. You can pick or choose a few themed gardens or hit each one. A map is a must, small charge of $1 or $2. Great photo opportunities. No admission so be sure I throw some in the donation bin. Perfect stop on your way to Rotorua or Waitomo from Auckland.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 17, 2023
  • jamieclower
    Silverado, California75 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Needed more time in this magical place!
    What a stunning way to spend an afternoon. Deceptive from the outside, you're not getting a standard botanical garden experience here. Each garden is themed - no, not by plant type or ecosystem, but regions of the world, periods of time, etc. Our favorites were the 16th century Italian garden, the Egyptian garden, and the Indian garden. We also loved the kitchen garden, full of edible herbs, spices and vegetables. I only wish we had more time here - stopped en route on our road trip and could have easily spent hours and hours discovering new corners of this place. Highly recommend!
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 25, 2023
  • iGoer
    San Jose, California174 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very Intestring Garden
    This place has number of themed gardens. Themes are mostly based on regions of the world. Small details of history are also provied which describe the garden. I am only giving 4 stars, becase if they had provided the details of each plant (like in a botanical garden) then I would add the 5th star.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written November 26, 2023
  • guennie3
    Cambridge, United Kingdom421 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful themed gardens in Hamilton
    Our friends who live near Hamilton took us here. They have visited many times before, which is recommendation in itself. We had visited beautiful botanical gardens in Australia and Christchurch but these are on another level. A $2 map is useful to ensure you see it all, which I strongly recommend you do. They are amazing. Really well set out with clear divisions between the different themes. It was free when we went but our friends said there is going to be a charge soon. Really recommend a few hours here.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written November 27, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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Adriandcass
Christchurch, New Zealand286 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
My first visit to these stunning gardens. Lots to see, you could be there several hours. It was very busy with cars parked all over the grass and plenty of people enjoying the beauty of the gardens. The cafe looked like it has great food but so seating available, all full so we didn’t eat there. Gardens associated with different themes and regions of the world, nestled against the backdrop of the Waikato river. Easy walking. If hot need umbrella or hat as not much shade. Free to enter but suggest you leave a donation.
Will definitely return.
Written February 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for taking the time to write a review. Great to hear you enjoyed your visit! 🌼 - Annabel
Written February 9, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Dianna C
Melbourne, Australia1,196 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
These are perhaps the best gardens we have ever seen! And we have seen lots of gardens around the world. The theming of the enclosed gardens is unique, authentic and beautifully done. Loved the chinese scholar garden, english garden and italian renaissance. You will need at least 3-4 hours here to even scratch the surface as there are about 12. Please donate to keep this growing.
Written January 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for taking the time to write a review. Fantastic to hear you enjoyed your visit! 🌼 - Annabel
Written February 2, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Uday Kumar H
Kolkata (Calcutta), India1,910 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Hamilton Garden New Zealand

We visited Hamilton Garden, New Zealand on 7th January 2020. The tour manager of Thomas Cook provided us with the importance, heritage, educational facilities, and some other aspects about the Hamilton Garden.
The vast Hamilton Gardens is a public garden park in the south of Hamilton owned. The garden managed by Hamilton City Council in New Zealand.
Hamilton Garden is there along with open lawns, a lake, a nursery, a convention centre and the Hamilton East Cemetery.
On interrogating a person of a shop inside Hamilton Garden I came to know that Hamilton Gardens has the unique concept of showcasing the cultural meaning and context of gardens over the past 4,000 years.

It stand established that gardens have been a way of expressing the important philosophical ideas of their time. It is also true that story of gardens reflects the story of civilisation and attitudes to the natural world. No exception for Hamilton garden.
The collections of ‘gardens’ at Hamilton Gardens hint the history, context and meaning of gardens. Each garden tells a story and offers an insight into a different civilisation of the time.
Most development of Hamilton Gardens has occurred since 1980, growing in scope and vision to become a unique showcase for the story of gardens.
Hamilton Gardens won the Garden of the Year award at the International Garden Tourism Awards in Metz, France in 2014, after being selected by a global jury of garden experts.
There are ample educational opportunities in Hamilton Gardens. The range of opportunities include from geometry in the ‘Italian Renaissance Garden’ to’ history in Te Parapara’, New Zealand's only traditional ‘Maaori productive garden.’
At my age of 72, I intend to visit New Zealand again and within the Hamilton Garden.
Written February 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to write a review. It's great to hear you enjoyed your visit and we hope to see you again some time! 🌼 - Annabel
Written February 20, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ian
7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Family
A last minute decision led us to visit the Garden, and we're all glad we did! It's very impressive what is on offer and I will be recommending it to people traveling to the Waikato.
Being a New Zealanders, how did I not know this existed?

We spent most of our time in the Enclosed Gardens area, which I think is the main attraction.

We have 3 primary age kids and they had a great time too, highlight of their trip to the region they said. It is very suitable for kids and families. Ours had a dip in the water at the Contemporary American garden (hope that's OK).

We got there 10am on a weekday which meant we missed most of the rush. By noon the gardens were getting pretty busy.

Sadly the Japanese garden was closed during out visit, but on the bright side that means I have something to look forward to in future. I see there's still plans for more new gardens which is exciting.

I've been to a number of gardens in Japan which charge a small entry fee. By comparison this garden is free and has a variety of gardens from different cultures and themes. Some of the themed gardens alone would be worth visiting!

We didn't have time to see the pavilion. The playground was reasonably close by and a good break for the kids (has a separate parking area).

We would have liked to see some information regarding the construction and history of the gardens. There was a board at the entrance but from memory it wasn't very detailed.

If only we had something comparable in our region! Waikato folk, we're very jealous of you.

P. S. my kids say there is a rabbit roaming around the Japanese garden area.
Written October 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kia ora Ian, thank you for taking the time to leave a review. Great to hear you and your whaanau enjoyed your visit! The billboard at the entrance shows the future gardens currently under development - if you'd like to learn more about the history of Hamilton Gardens and the significance of our themed gardens, pop in to the Information Centre :) And yes, supervised children are welcome to have a splash in the Modernist pool - it's a popular spot in warm weather! Thanks again for your feedback - ka kite ano 🌼 Annabel at Hamilton Gardens
Written October 8, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Vikings
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Hamilton (and everyone involved in creating Hamilton Gardens) should be SOOOO proud! My daughter and I wondered through the gardens in awe and amazement at the skill, talent and time that has clearly gone into creating what has to be Hamiltons biggest gem. Unfortunately, we had to hurry because it was a scorching hot day and we left my husband with the dog (who understandably was not allowed in various parts of the gardens) Tourists and locals alike will be stunned by the array of planting styles, colours and artistic beauty that awaits. You do not even have to be an avid gardener to appreciate what Hamilton Gardens has to offer. We were equally impressed at the staff patrolling the grounds and especially the carpark. They were doing a great job in that heat and added to the quality experience by being so professional and friendly. Put together a picnic or make the most of the cafe. We grabbed an iced coffee as it was 30 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. A beautiful way to spend the day or kill a few hours or even just a quick stop on the way through Hamilton. A must see!!!! Loved the gardens and will drive back to Hamilton for a day trip for sure just to see the parts we missed.
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to write a review, it's wonderful to hear you and your daughter enjoyed your visit so much! If it's a scorcher next time you visit, pop into our Visitor Centre for some free sunscreen too 🌼
Written February 13, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kathleen M
Cambridge, New Zealand151 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
Wonderful to visit:
You don’t have to be a gardener to enjoy this amazing place which is such a work of art. I can recommend that you allow a minimum of 90 minutes to enjoy each garden. I don’t want to put too many photos as part of the enjoyment is the surprises.
Written February 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to write a review Kathleen. Great to hear you enjoyed your visit! 🌼 - Annabel
Written February 27, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Karl R Signal
Palmerston North, New Zealand10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021 • Family
There are so many cool things to see and do in this beautiful country of ours and this is right up there. The amazing thing is that all of this is free and after being there you wouldn’t begrudge the City Council charging visitors. The themed gardens are amazing. My favourite themed gardens were the Paradise ones. Awesome thing is that more gardens are being planned and developed for the future so it gives even more reason to come back again! Hamilton has a world class tourist destination and NZders need to see it before the overseas tourists return to enjoy it without the crowds! Recommend going in the evening.
Written January 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you Karl, we appreciate you leaving a review 🌼
Written January 24, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kate L
Worcester, UK165 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Solo
These gardens are a little out of town but easily accessed by car or local bus. The bus does a have limited timetable though. There are loads of gardens to look at and all have been well laid out and tended. There is a small cafe on site but plenty of grass space for a picnic if you want to. The gardens are free to enter and but you can make an optional donation if you wish.
Written January 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for your review! 🌼
Written January 5, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

JoshAdvisor
Launceston, UK84 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
Having been to quite a few gardens I couldn't recommend this more. The best part of it is it is continually developing so return visits won't feel like repetitions. Allow a couple of hours to do all the gardens, even at a quick pace.
Written February 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for your review! 🌼
Written February 9, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

SusanAxbridge
Axbridge70 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
There must be about 10 different gardens within the grounds of this large public garden. (Free entry). Among the best in my opinion are the Indian, the Tropical and the Katherine Mansfield. The Surrealist is as the name infers - very surreal. All are kept in immaculate condition and are a joy to visit. Signing could be better, especially to the glass houses..
The cafe is very popular and offers a good selection of cabinet and menu food. Plenty of parking.
Written March 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
17 themed gardens, in fact! :) Great to hear you enjoyed your visit, thank you for taking the time to write a review 🌼 - Annabel
Written March 8, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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