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Green Getaway: A Complete Guide to Auckland Botanic Gardens

Green Getaway A Complete Guide to Auckland Botanic Gardens

With kaleidoscopic flowerbeds and a lush forest, Auckland Botanic Gardens is a breath of fresh air, perfect for anyone who needs nature therapy. It spans 64 hectares, though, so exploration isn’t a walk in the park (auckland parks).

No need to worry about getting lost. We’ll spill the garden’s floral secrets and give tips, ensuring your visit will be as breezy as this spot’s picnic areas.

Things To Know

Address: 102 Hill Rd, The Gardens, Auckland 2105

Contact Details: 09 267 1457

Operating Hours: Daily – 8 am to 8 pm

Travel Time From the Auckland CBD: 21 to 25 mins

Admission: Free

Facilities and Amenities

  • Pedestrian access
  • Winter and summer gate access
  • Car parks
  • Toilets
  • Drinking fountain
  • Picnic tables
  • Wharf
  • Cafe
  • Venues for hire

How To Get Here

From akltransport

By Car: The fastest way to reach the Auckland Botanical Gardens is by taking the New Zealand State Highway 1 southbound until you reach Hill Rd.

Turn left at the intersection with Hill Rd and enter Norm Powell Dr, about 160 meters from the crossway. Drive north of Norm Powell Dr and follow the signs to the gardens.

By Train and Bus: To get to Botanic Gardens from the Auckland CBD, go to Britomart Train Station (Platform 2). Board a train heading east towards Manukau/PAN.

From Manukau, take a short 77-meter walk to the Manukau Bus Station (Platform 16). There, board Bus 366 toward Manurewa.

Once you reach the bus stop, it’s a 2-minute walk to the Auckland Botanic Gardens.

Gardens to See

Rose Garden

Swinging by the Rose Garden is a classic move for anyone craving a floral fix. In this blooming oasis, you’ll find modern and heritage roses, painting the air with a sweet scent you can’t smell in the city.

There’s also a tranquil pond mirroring the kaleidoscope of pure white, fiery reds, and soft lavenders. The pond’s clear waters and serene ambiance make it perfect for zen-searching.


The Rose Garden is a fairy-tale-like venue for weddings. Say your vows here.

You can even hire specialists to style the garden depending on the wedding theme you desire.

Salvia Collection

Blooming with cultivars from every nook and cranny of the globe, Auckland Botanic Garden’s Salvia Collection is worth the trip.

The garden’s salvia flowers boast a medley of colors with purple and crimson red as some of the most stunning varieties.

Summer and autumn are when they’re at their full glory, so pop by during these seasons to witness a rainbow of floral colors.


For those planning to grow salvias, water the flower consistently but avoid overwatering; salvias prefer slightly drier conditions. You must also prune regularly to encourage bushier growth and more vibrant blooms.

Edible Garden

The Edible Garden is a fruitful patch of tomatoes, carrots, cabbages, and more edible veggies, fruits, and nuts, perfect for green thumbs itching to cultivate their grub.

It also doubles as a retreat where you can learn innovative growing methods. A few tips and tricks we picked up include how to create a living hedge and the proper methods of sculpting an edible garden at home.

On top of that, the knowledgeable caretakers guided us on how to maximize DIY compost or fertilizers for healthy soil. They also gave lessons on the appropriate way of planning and implementing crop rotation.


The garden doesn’t have ample shade. Consider bringing appropriate clothing for the outdoors (outdoor activities auckland), including comfortable shoes, a sun hat, and perhaps a light jacket for changing weather conditions.

Conifer Garden

The Conifer Garden is one of the initial pit stops of the Auckland Botanic Garden. Here, you’ll spot cone-bearing, woody seed plants flaunting a palette of hues, from lively yellows to soft blues and light greens.

Mighty cedars, pines, yews, firs, spruces, and junipers are the garden’s finest offerings. Walk past them, and you’ll sniff out a fresh, resinous, and woody fragrance that can lift mental fog.


If you want to grow conifers, note that applying occasional organic mulch benefits soil and plant health, and most conifers respond well to regular pruning for shaping.

In addition, you need to ensure that your conifers are situated in open areas, basking in full sunlight.

Gondwana Arboretum

At Gondwana Arboretum, you’ll witness plants that grew alongside ferocious dinosaurs. This living, green museum will take you back 150 million years, featuring conifers, cycads, and ferns that existed before the first humans walked the earth.

Each plant here bears captivating shapes, spiky leaves, and oddly shaped cones. These features shouldn’t be a surprise, as most are from the Araucaria family, famous for displaying symmetrical, tiered branches and majestic needle-like leaves.


This garden is stroller-friendly, so bring your little ones here. It’s also perfect for breaks with the wealth of shade it has.

Herb Garden

For enthusiasts of galangal, moringa ginger, lambs’ ears, and other beneficial herbs, the Herb Garden offers a space for exploration, enlightenment, and enjoyment.

The plants grown here, like chervil and arrowroot, have played vital roles in health, cuisine, and beauty for centuries. Some herbs don’t like in the fragrance department, too, particularly the citrusy lemon myrtle.


The Herb Garden can also be booked for weddings.

Magnolia Garden

The Magnolia Garden steals the show during spring and winter. It’s a garden with dark foliage, so the flower’s striking pink, white, black, and purple petals truly stand out.

Magnolias here also come in all sizes. Some are pint-sized while a few are as big as a plate, each giving off a delicate, citrusy fragrance.

Joggers and walkers frequent this spot, especially the section with massive trees and Eastern Asian magnolias. Picnickers, on the other hand, enjoy the garden’s lawn area, which is also packed with magnolias.


You may bring your fur babies here, but they must be on a leash and not exhibit hostile behavior.

Harakeke Collection

As the name implies, the Harakeke Collection puts the spotlight on harakeke (flax), a sword-like, bronze, or green plant that plays a significant role in Māori tradition.

The harakeke grown in this garden is usually used for weaving items like garments, ropes, mats, kits, and food baskets.

Furthermore, Māori artisans have been specifically harnessing the garden’s harakeke variant for years due to its prominent leaf and fiber properties.


Visit on the initial Thursday of every month at 2 pm (excluding January) for an insightful harakeke harvesting induction.

The induction will help you gain valuable insights into health and safety protocols, cultural practices observed in the garden, and harvesting techniques.

Native Forest

The Native Forest is a taste of New Zealand’s untamed wilderness. Visitors will find streams, tree fern groves, nikau palms, and birds in this leafy hideaway.

What really caught our attention, though, are the tall rimu, kahikatea, miro, mataī, and tōtara trees that stand among 170 native flora.

These plants make the Native Forest extra special, as they’re living relics of what Manukau flaunted before humans took over.


Don’t forget your walking shoes. The Native Forest has a 4-kilometer, sun-dappled trail that’s newbie-friendly and relaxing.

Palm Garden

Summer visitors typically come by the Palm Garden to witness tropical Vireya rhododendrons, hibiscus, clivias, and bromeliads in full bloom during sunnier days.

The garden is also the country’s largest public collection of palms, so expect vast expanses and flora like the native palm at every turn.

Explore a bit more, and you’ll come across two crystalline streams perfect for picnics and photo ops.


Visit during the early morning or late afternoon for the best lighting and a more pleasant experience.

If you can’t visit but want to learn about palm planting, contact Auckland Botanic Garden’s number.

Potter Children’s Garden

The Potter Children’s Garden is living proof that learning about plants shouldn’t be a snoozefest.

Kiddos and kids at heart will find plant facts scattered throughout the garden’s diverse zones, consisting of themed areas like a rainforest, maze, bog, meadow, and desert. They can also explore hidden paths where flowers, fruits, and birds coexist.

On top of that, visitors will learn about sustainable practices, from the right way of collecting rainwater to the process of growing green roofs.


If planning a school trip, reach out to the garden. Connecting with them beforehand can help organize and enhance the overall experience for your students.

Podocarp Valley

An array of verdant coniferous trees along a stream’s banks is the dominant scenery at the Podocarp Valley, a grove composed of podocarps from New Zealand, Japan, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Asia, and Africa.

The trees have intricate needle-like leaves that glisten in the sunlight, so morning visits are better. As for color, the hues vary, with some showcasing deep, emerald greenery while others display a subtle interplay of lighter shades.


Bring binoculars; the valley is home to a myriad of avian species like gray warblers, fantails, and mynas.

Perennial Garden

Gleaming gold, regal purple, flaming red—the Perennial Garden doesn’t lack in colors.

Visitors will revel in the splendor of classic blooms like penstemons, asters, achilleas, cannas, dahlias, sedums, and salvias that share the spotlight with rare and unusual varieties.

As a bonus, colorful butterflies add more hues to the garden’s already kaleidoscopic glamor. The garden also wafts with a sweet, mildly herbal scent—a fragrance worth leaving the couch for.


Plan your visit during summer to witness these resilient plants in full bloom. Another fantastic time to visit is early autumn.

Rock Garden

Local and foreign minuscule flowers and bulbs rule the roost at the well-manicured Rock Garden. Most of these tiny wonders are courtesy of plant hunters who braved Earth’s mountain peaks; they have tales woven into their roots.

Towering trees like the evergreen Aloe barberae and the enigmatic Dragon’s Blood tree also make their mark here. The ones by the stream are prime choices for shaded picnics.


The Auckland Botanic Gardens can provide different wedding venues, but the Rock Garden is more suited for larger celebrations with a capacity of hosting around 70 guests.

Spring Blossom Valley

Nestled between the Camellia and Magnolia Gardens, the Spring Blossom Valley is a sanctuary of springtime flowers and cheerful tuis enjoying their nectar-fueled parties.

Pastel yellows, fiery reds, opulent purples, and subtle pinks take over here.

As you meander through, prepare to also soak in the radiance of bulbs breaking ground and trees bursting into a symphony of blossoms.


For aspiring gardeners, this valley is a lesson on optimal plant placement. You can learn a thing or two by studying its lower slopes that host shelter-craving varieties and the higher slopes’ with flowers requiring wind and sun.

Threatened Native Plants Garden

Unlike your typical garden, the Threatened Native Plants Garden mimics native habitats, echoing the struggles of wetlands, offshore islands, and forests. It’s also a refuge for one-third of New Zealand’s native plants facing uncommon threats.

The garden’s must-visit spot is the lake area, where you’ll find Pennantia baylisiana and Tecomanthe speciosa, both once on the brink of extinction.

Nowadays, these plants are testaments to the impact of conservation efforts, thriving not only in their natural habitat but also finding a place in common home gardens.


If you use a wheelchair or scooter, it’s advisable to avoid this area, as the bridge and boardwalks are too narrow for comfortable passage.

Urban Tree Collection

From weeping maples and exotic Michelia to persimmon, cherries, coastal maire, and the symbolic kowhai, the Urban Tree Collection has trees for days.

The garden is a common gathering hub of green thumbs looking for trees to spruce up their backyards.

You can’t blame them, as the collection even goes beyond trees with its assortment of Farfugiums, grevilleas, clivias, and bromeliads—essential groundcovers.


Check the garden’s events calendar to discover an occasion that aligns with your preferences.

The Orchard

Nothing beats Auckland Botanic Garden’s orchard when it comes to fruitful visits. Lovers of citrus, pears, plums, bananas, feijoas, figs, macadamias, and persimmons will have a blast here.

The garden also flexes sapote, a Central American fruit esteemed for its custard-like pulp with a taste resembling a blend of peach, pear, and banana flavors when ripe.

Additionally, the orchard’s trees are ideal for cultivators seeking varieties that can thrive in Auckland’s conditions without the need for insecticides or fungicides.


Remember to peek at the seasonal fruit harvest schedule to make the most of your visit.

Camellia Garden

Visitors who want to meditate must hit up the Camellia Garden first, an autumn and winter haven with trails popping with petals, multi-hued camellias, and a fragrance with hints of rose or jasmine.

Moreover, the garden’s woodland setting and Asian-inspired structures instill a touch of calmness. East Asian flora also complements the camellias’ colors; the garden’s carpet of hellebores does the same.


Explore Auckland Botanic Garden’s guide for recommendations on the best camellias to cultivate in Auckland. This resource is valuable if you’re considering growing these exquisite flowers in your garden.