Location: Cobham Drive, Hamilton East
Hours: Summer: 7am - 8pm, Winter: 8am - 6pm
Hamilton Gardens are a large public owned space run by Hamilton City Council. In operation since 1962, the gardens have free entry. Interestingly, the gardens are the largest tourist attraction in the Waikato Region, but it's not hard to see why. Hectares of fresh foliage, green open spaces and themed, manicured gardens make this a must visit in Hamilton.
Of particular note are the themed gardens. Styles range from Japanese, Indian, English, Italian and more. Extensive landscaping and scultures really top off this stunning setting beside the Waikato River. There are more than a dozen specialty gardens, all maintained by volunteers. Rose gardens are a specialty with many rare varieties on display. The range of plants and foliage across the entire grounds is astounding. In the works is also a Maori Garden.
There is a convention centre called Hamilton Gardens Pavilion. This houses hundreds of events each year. The onsite cafe is set right beside the lake selling icecreams and coffee. There is also lakeside seating and grassy spaces to bring a picnic. There is a waterfall and a lake walk. Mostly flat, the grounds are wheelchair friendly around the main spaces.
The gardens are home to hundreds of weddings each year. Space can be booked almost anywhere on the grounds. Hamilton Gardens make a beautiful backdrop for wedding photos, and many couples choose to come here after their ceremony. The gardens are also home to the annual Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival, and the Pacific Rosebowl Festival.
Waterfall by the Lake (accessible via a walkway)
A real oasis of nature, in the suburbs! Whether you a local looking for a relaxing stroll or great picnic location, or a traveller looking to see the best that Hamilton has to offer, Hamilton Gardens should be at the top of your list.
Overlooking the Lake from the cafe side