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Botanica’s Picks: Top 5 New Zealand Gardens

Discover the highlights of New Zealand's flora from South Island's Trott's Garden to the Taranaki Garden Festival on the North Island.

New Zealand has long provided a fertile canvas for horticulturalists, landscapers and hobby gardeners. Join Botanica to explore some of the nation’s most celebrated gardens, inspired by international design and personal experience.

Botanical Guide Sarah O'Neil Talks New Zealand Gardens

Join Botanical Guide Sarah O'Neil & Botanica’s Carly Gotz, as they discuss Kiwi ingenuity, art and native plants that make New Zealand gardens so unique. 

Trott's Garden

The Canterbury Plains region between Christchurch and Dunedin is home to stunning alpine scenery and captivating cool-climate gardens. A highlight is the Charitable Trust garden of Alan Trott in Ashburton, which is recognised as a garden of international significance for its stunning herbaceous border, exquisite knot gardens and mass plantings of colourful blooms including roses, rhododendrons and dahlias. It’s hard to imagine that this cherished four-hectare garden was just a paddock with 13 trees when it was purchased by Alan and Catherine Trott 38 years ago. Visit Ashburton for yourself on Day 3 of our 11 Day New Zealand Private Gardens and Landscapes tour.

yellow daisies view across lawn gazebo trotts garden, new zealand
Upton Oaks Garden

The Marlborough region on the South Island’s northern tip is famous for its cool-climate wines, but the rich, volcanic soil also helps produce some incredible gardens. One example is Upton Oaks Garden, located just outside Blenheim and overlooking some of the region’s abundant vineyards. Over several years, the owners have lovingly restored their Victorian villa and its 0.6-hectare romantic country garden. Neat lawns and box hedges frame generous herbaceous borders brimming with shrubs such as roses and perennials. Explore the property’s 17th-century-style knot garden and the olive grove, which leads to a productive garden of raised vegetable beds and espaliered fruit trees.

maze topiary herbs upton oaks garden blenheim, new zealand
Auckland Gardens

Voted by Conde Nast as the fourth best island in the world, Waiheke Island off the coast of New Zealand is a special place. The Maori name is Motu-Wai-Heke, island of trickling waters, and it is a place known for its production of fine wines. On our tour of New Zealand, Botanica guests travel to Waiheke Island by ferry to enjoy lunch at Mud Brick Island. Whilst in Auckland you’ll also visit the gardens of Eden and Ayrlies, the latter described by Monty Don as ‘perhaps the most beautiful garden in the world’.

Image of Ayrlies garden
Hamilton Gardens

Hamilton Gardens on the North Island is unique in that it celebrates garden design from all over the world. The garden is certainly worthy of being awarded the coveted ‘International Garden of the Year’ title in 2014. With 21 different gardens set out over a 54-hectare park on the banks of the Waikato River, visitors can be inspired by exquisitely designed ‘Paradise Gardens’ including an Indian Char Bagh Garden, a Japanese Garden, and an Italian Renaissance Garden , as well as productive gardens, and even a ‘fantasy garden’ section.

india themed garden flowers water feature hamilton, new zealand
Taranaki Garden Festival

The Taranaki Garden Festival is a region-wide celebration of spring in this beautiful, mountainous region on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Rhododendrons are always the stars of the show and their colourful displays delight visitors from all over the world during the annual festival. Taranaki’s regional gardens and private gardens include 13 gardens of international significance due to its rich volcanic soil and microclimate. Join us on our 9 Day New Zealand’s Taranaki Garden Spectacular & Private Gardens tour to experience these celebrations for yourself.