Auckland Botanic Gardens comprise an area of 156 acres. Located on the southern edge of the city; the extensive plant collections and tracts of native forest look like they’ve stood there for centuries. In fact, the Gardens were laid out in 1973 and opened to the public nine years later. Here are four reasons why you should include them in your next visit to New Zealand’s largest city.
Auckland Botanic Gardens is close to the airport
Whether you’ve just picked up your rental car and are in need of some fresh air after a long flight, or heading home at the end of your New Zealand trip, the Botanic Gardens are conveniently located just eight miles from the airport. The Gardens are open from 8am until 6pm in winter and a couple of hours later in summer. If you’ve stepped off an early morning flight and are hoping to kill time before you can check in to your hotel; a stroll through the pathways of the Botanic Gardens might just be the answer. Likewise, if you’re driving up to the airport from the south and the traffic wasn’t as heavy as you’d planned for; they’re a more pleasant place to wait for your flight than the departures hall.
Auckland Botanic Gardens offer year round colour
If you’re thinking that in winter, the plants will be little more than pruned back skeletons, you’d be wrong. At this time of year, parts of the Botanic Gardens are actually at their best. Pick up a handy guide from the Gardens’ visitor centre on your way in; and you’ll see that members of staff have helpfully noted which parts are best during the different seasons. The perennials, roses and salvias that have wowed the crowds through summer and autumn are now coming to the end of their flowering season, making way for magnolias, camellias and the brilliant African Garden to take centre stage alongside myriad beds full of evergreen shrubs and trees.
You’ll learn a lot
The Gardens have a strong commitment to environmental issues, with ideas on how to collect and redirect stormwater. You’ll be able to pick up sound advice about how to make your own garden more sustainable and make water-wise choices. The Edible Garden is also an inspiration for those hoping to grow their own. There’s a small orchard; but it’s the veggies and herb garden which will be easiest to replicate in a smaller space such as a domestic garden or in balcony pots. And if you’re interested in finding out more about New Zealand’s horticulture; the native plant areas, whether threatened species, creatively planted cultivars or native forest, are clearly labelled to help you continue your Kiwi education.
Entrance is free
We all love a freebie and the Botanic Gardens aren’t going to cost you a cent to visit; unless you choose to book one of the regular classes or workshops on offer. However, the visitor centre will be delighted to receive a donation should you wish to contribute to the ongoing work of Auckland Botanic Gardens.