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“Worth a visit” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Dunedin Chinese Garden

Dunedin Chinese Garden
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$19.98*
and up
Dunedin Self Guided Audio Tour
Ranked #18 of 104 things to do in Dunedin
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Explore an authentic example of a Chinese scholar's garden that celebrates the Chinese influence on Otago's history and heritage. The Garden Gift Shop offers the chance to find something culturally different while the Tea House allows you to take your taste buds on their very own tour of China. The garden is open every day expect Christmas Day. As one of only three gardens outside China and the only one in the Southern Hemisphere, it is a truly captivating cultural experience not to be missed.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
43 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Worth a visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2012

Loved visiting these gardens and worth a visit. Should appeal to adults and children alike.

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
Thank Ray S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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327 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    19
    5
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Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
99 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Not much to brighten your day here.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 19, 2011

I found this to be bland and not very interesting or colourful. Too much brickwork and not enough plants to add colour. A real disappointment. Only spent 15 mins there and that was too much!

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
Thank North117
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
“Something different”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 12, 2011

Great place to wander around, unwind and relax. Unusal too, not like anything we have experienced before.

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
Thank justchillingaussies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dorset, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
47 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Hidden gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 27, 2011

A fantastic unexpected courtyard garden. Go there and be surprised (and stop for tea and dim sum)

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
Thank Peter C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Really Enjoyable”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2011

From the other reviews it seems the Chinese Gardens are a hate it or love it experience. My mum and I loved the whole design. Westerners build for function and prettiness. This Chinese scholar's garden/retreat is designed with the spirit of the structure and scholar in mind. As you walk around you notice how the shape of the central bridge matches the edge of the rocks as you look out from a particular place. The spire of the First Church fits in a little hole in the rock if you stand in just the right place. The lattice windows of the final hallway zig and zag so you can look straight through them all. The rocky section has several stairways and pathways to get over it. The plants are sparse but nice looking and traditional.
I ordered a Chinese tea and it was served in a pretty clay pot with matching cup. You have to carry it on a tray across to the tea house or there are several little tables and stools in the courtyard. It was a bit cold outside and the tea house was heated. There is a choice of a few snack foods or crackers. Definitely not a coffee and cake place but we didn't expect it to be. The gift shop had beautiful silk scarves for $12 and we each bought one. There is a variety of Chinese knick knacks and some more expensive items like a calligraphy brush set.
There are information plaques around the site explaining the design and in the foyer there is a video of how it was built. We watched the video after looking around. We thought it was well worth the $9 NZ entrance fee. Children under 13 with an adult are free.
I wouldn't call it wheel chair or stroller friendly from what I can remember. Older primary age children should enjoy the rocky pathways. They provide a challenge without being too dangerous. We managed to walk all over except some of the steeper rock steps. Mum is 83. From memory the only place to sit is in the tea house and courtyard. In summer you can buy fish food and feed the gold fish in the pond.
It is almost in the centre of town not far from the station and there is a free car park.
This garden was a lovely addition to our self guided garden tour of Dunedin and surrounds.

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
Thank ValofBrisbane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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