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We spent the entire morning in the magnificent Hamilton Gardens, with our own private tour guide.

Hamilton Gardens is a public garden park in the south of Hamilton owned and managed by Hamilton City Council, New Zealand. The 54-hectare park is located on the banks of the Waikato River and includes enclosed gardens, open lawns, a lake, a nursery, a convention centre and a cemetery.


Near the entrance to the gardens


Our timing was perfect, as everything was in bloom in early November. I am sure that the gardens are lovely year-round, but in spring they are glorious. The enclosed gardens are spectacular scenes from countries around the world – each an oasis of colour and tranquility – we were transported to Italy, India, Japan, UK and China.  Each garden is unique and if you take a ‘garden tour’ your guide is able to explain the history of each area

Telling the story of gardens through these themed garden collections, Hamilton Gardens explores different civilisations, and recreates historically important garden styles from the farthest reaches of the world.

We were guided on a journey of discovery along paths leading to mysterious surprises: we stepped from a peaceful Sung Dynasty Chinese Scholar’s garden into an Italian Renaissance Garden, before being enthralled by the grandeur of the Indian Char Bagh Garden. Hamilton Gardens has 21 themed garden areas with more being developed.


Italian Renaissance Gardens



Twin sons Romulus and Remus


The concept of the garden as a story to be told is fascinating and the diversity is incredible. You get carried along because there is always something beautiful and interesting around the next corner.

We were there during the Rose bowl competition and were treated to hundreds of rose varieties all blooming and glorious.

We meandered through the rose, rhododendrons, camellias and lawns.

We finished our morning tour with a visit to the Hamilton Gardens Cafe for a delightful lunch sitting outside, overlooking the lake. Just a short walk from the cafe is a bridge that takes you over to the spectacular Rose Gardens 

You could easily spend most of a day wandering in and out of the various locations within the gardens. There are lots of places to sit and eat and enjoy the scenery.

Entry to the gardens is free however donations are very gratefully accepted so they can continue to improve the facilities.

This could easily be one of the best gardens in the world.