Christchurch and Canterbury Gardens

It's easy to understand why Christchurch is fondly referred to as the 'Garden City'. Beautiful tree-lined avenues, large central city parks and award winning residential gardens add to the vibrancy of the ever-evolving CBD. The regions of Canterbury are equally impressive and are home to several Gardens of National Significance.

Broadfield New Zealand Landscape Garden

A large mostly formal garden with a clear New Zealand theme. A strong use of native planting throughout including a sizeable Beech (Nothofagus) forest. Complementing the native planting is a large garden of exotics, a formal rose garden and a separate area for rhododendrons as well as a large feature canal. Broadfield New Zealand Landscape Garden is open Wednesday - Saturday or by appointment.

Caterpillar Garden Tours

A great way to discover the Christchurch Botanic Gardens is to jump aboard the Caterpillar Garden Tour. The electric powered shuttle allows visitors to enjoy the extensive and interesting commentary provided on-board with the opportunity to explore the gardens in more depth at leisure.

Christchurch Botanic Gardens

Located in the heart of Christchurch and a much loved jewel of the city. The Christchurch Botanic Gardens feature one the finest collections of exotic and native New Zealand plants in the country. With 500,000 recorded visitors each year, the Botanic Gardens are one of Christchurch’s most visited public spaces. Colourful herbaceous borders and some of the tallest and largest trees in the country make a visit to the gardens a must do! The Armstrong Lawn within the gardens is home to the well photographed Peacock Fountain, originally imported from England and installed in the gardens in the early 1900s. The Curator’s House is another key feature of the Armstrong Lawn. Built in 1920 as the home of the gardens curator. The house is constructed from volcanic basalt rock from the Port Hills Quarry in the Old English or Tudor style of architecture.

The Curator’s House is now a fantastic restaurant showcasing fresh local produce. The edible gardens at the homestead produce herbs, fruit and vegetables. Gardeners can learn about companion planting, crop rotation and composting at the Curator’s House demonstration gardens.

Fishermans Bay Garden

Fishermans Bay Garden is a superb example of how once rugged farmland can be converted into an idyllic multi-level garden. Taking advantage of the dramatic coastlines of Banks Peninsula the garden boasts a spectrum of colour, texture, long flower borders and sculptures including 100 hectares of regenerating protected native bush. The gardens are best viewed late summer, bookings are required.


It’s hard to believe that 45 years ago Flaxmere was once a sheep farm. The bold, well thought-out garden design looks like it’s never been anything other than a notable country garden. This ‘Garden of National Significance’ is located 10km from Hawarden, North Canterbury and just over an hour from Christchurch. The garden is expansive, framing the mountain backdrop and creating an element of surprise at every turn. A series of five ponds and extensive areas of native plants, woodlands, roses and rhododendrons create areas of peace and serenity.

Flaxmere is also home to the annual Art in a Garden exhibition considered to be one of the very best indoor/outdoor exhibitions of its kind in the South Island and showcasing a vast range of artwork, garden sculptures and pottery. Flaxmere is open by appointment only and morning, afternoon tea and lunch can be provided with prior arrangement.

French Farm

Established by artist Nancy Tichborne and her husband Bryan, the garden at French Farm is dramatically colourful and striking. Herbaceous boarders feature tulips, irises, daylilies and dahlias depending on time of year. The surrounding hills and native bush provide a stunning backdrop complimenting the vast colour of the ornamental garden. Viewing of the garden at French Farm is by appointment only between October to March.


Owned by successive generations and born out of an installation of protective shelter belts to protect the property from the northwest winds in 1864. The 7 hectare property consists of sweeping lawns, old trees, woodland planting, boxed boarders and small hand-dug lake. Longbeach is also home to a historic homestead built by architect Heathcote Helmore in 1938. The original farm buildings, Cobb cottage as well as a wooden church are also features of the unique garden.


Originally created by T.H.Potts New Zealand's first botanist in 1865. Potts planted a fantastic variety of trees and shrubs some of which can still be viewed today. Unfortunately he died in 1888 and the garden feel into dis-repair. Sir Miles Warren and Mr and Mrs Trengrove restored the house and began to create the present garden in 1977. Ohinetahi has a strong focus and a number of garden rooms capturing different styles. Formal lawn, curved macrocarpa hedges, rose gardens, boxed boarders, potager and woodland gardens are just some of the delights to discover. 

Otahuna Lodge

Otahuna Lodge is home to the over 110 year old gardens originally created for Sir Heaton Rhodes. The 30 acres sprawling vistas, intimate woodlands, comprehensive potager garden and nationally celebrated daffodil fields home to millions of bulbs that bloom every September. Gardens tours are strictly by appointment only, minimum numbers apply.

The Giant’s House – Artist’s Garden

The Giant’s House is a must see on any visit to Akaroa. The magical and striking garden is filled with colourful oversized mosaic sculptures. There are surprises around every corner, including a giant piano, terraced gardens, extraordinary wall mosaics and steps, steel sculptures as well rose, vegetable and citrus gardens.

The Iris Garden

Open from mid-October to the end of November. The Iris Garden is filled with many varieties of iris, peony roses, camellias, flowering shrubs, roses all surrounded by macrocarpa hedges. An iris nursery is also available on-site for purchase of potted iris. A delicious Devonshire tea can be purchased during the iris season.

Timaru Botanic Gardens

The striking entrance of bedding plants provides the perfect introduction to a garden brimming with a diverse range of collections including conifers, rose species and boarders of the native plants of Canterbury. Endangered plants from around the world can be seen in part of the conservatory complex. A herb garden, formal rose garden, woodland garden with collections of maples and camellias. Recognised as a garden of national significance, the Timaru Botanic Gardens is a must see when travelling to South Canterbury.

Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden

A public garden opened in December 2001 to preserve and honour the collection of old roses from rosarian Trevor Griffiths. Designed by architect Sir Miles Warren the garden comprises of a series of geometric beds, strong lines created by the use of steel structures with the planting plan identifying 1150 roses. December is a fantastic time to view the garden when the ramblers and noisettes are in flower. The Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden is located in central Timaru and is owned by the community and maintained by the Timaru District Council and volunteers.

Trotts Garden

Garden of International Significance located in Ashburton. Trotts Garden is a carefully planned and considered garden incorporating woodlands, stream, bog garden and pond, and a formal garden. In the woodland garden there are 50 different species of magnolia, 70 different kinds of maple and 40 different varieties of the dogwood family. The formal garden is grand and structured with large hedging, long borders and impressive topiaries.

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