Fifty years ago Hamilton Gardens was a sand quarry and the city’s rubbish dump. It was covered in weeds, mud and household rubbish.Since then it has gradually been transformed into 21 award winning gardens, each with a unique theme that tells the story of gardens.Guided tours explore the rather mysterious world of Hamilton Gardens.
Visit: Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton, Waikato Region, North IslandHamilton Gardens is one of Waikato’s most visited attractions, with approximately one million visitors each year. Forty years ago Hamilton Gardens was a bleak landscape. It was the site of a former Victorian rifle range and dog dosing station, covered in blackberries with seagulls circling above. It was the city’s rubbish dump. Today, the Gardens has 21 themed gardens on 54 hectares alongside the Waikato River.Telling the story of gardens through themed garden collections, Hamilton Gardens explores different civilizations, and recreates historically important garden styles from the farthest reaches of the world. Hamilton Gardens is not a botanical garden. Instead, its unique and internationally recognized concept has been compared to a museum. Each garden collection has historic integrity and provides a window into the story of civilizations, their arts, beliefs and lifestyles. Guides who will share the ‘inside story’ of how Hamilton Gardens was transformed from a rubbish dump into an internationally significant garden and take visitors on a journey of discovery along paths delivering mysterious surprises: step from a peaceful Sung Dynasty Chinese Scholar’s Garden into an Italian Renaissance Garden, before being enthralled by the grandeur of the Indian Char Bagh (‘four quartered’) Garden. Guided tours leave the Hamilton Gardens Information Centre at 11am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tours take approximately 1.15 hours.