The Best of Auckland's Gardens

The most beautiful gardens in Auckland…

I spend a lot of time working, and when I’m not working I’m busy planning and preparing for new projects. So it makes sense that the few hobbies I have involve venturing out of my house and taking inspiration from the world around me. Walking around some of Auckland’s beautiful gardens is something I love to do in all seasons, when I can take the time.

If you’re looking for the perfect spot for a picnic, a morning walk, somewhere to practice your photography or drawing skills, or just somewhere to relax with friends then keep on reading. I put together a list of my top five favourite gardens and what time of year they are best to visit. 

Playsuit, hat and sunnies from Dotti. Earrings and shoes from Kmart.

Playsuit, hat and sunnies from Dotti. Earrings and shoes from Kmart.

Westlynn Gardens [West Auckland]

Cost - Donation

Popularity - 2/5

Hours - 10-4pm 7 Days a Week

Best Activity - Exploring and Education.

Westlynn Gardens is tucked away at the back of New Lynn, close to Titirangi Bush. It’s maintained by a team of volunteers and available to visit between 10-4pm every day. Throughout the year there are special events, and some tying in with the large monarch butterfly house that forms part of the gardens. The grounds are medium sized, with a range of native trees and plants. The best time to visit Westlynn Gardens is in the springtime when most of the flowers are in bloom and the greenery is lush. These gardens have a rustic, homely feel and many of the paths are best taken to with sturdy walking shoes. There are some beautiful nooks and spaces here, and great fun to explore. 

Westlynn Gardens Website: www.westlynngarden.org.nz

Auckland Domain [Central City]

Cost - Free

Popularity - 4/5

Hours - [1 April – 31 October] 9am – 4.30pm 7 Days a Week

[1 November – 31 March] Monday - Saturday 9am – 5.30pm and Sunday 9am – 7.30pm

Best Activity - Photoshoots, Picnics, Light Walks, and Exploring.

The Auckland Domain will always be one of my favourite places. With such a variety of areas within itself, including a hot house, tropical gardens, fernery, large open spaces and changing botanical displays, it is impeccably maintained. The best time to visit is in the evenings in summer, when it’s a little cooler but the evening sun lights everything up beautifully. Around November there is a purple Wisteria that blooms near the main pond, and throughout summer the gardens outside the greenhouse are an incredible display of colour. The best port about the Auckland Domain is the Auckland Museum which is in the same space, and other than the beautiful architecture I’m a big fan of the museum, which often has fantastic special exhibits in addition to their regular features. 

Auckland Domain Website: www.gardens.org.nz/auckland-gardens/auckland-domain-wintergardens

Cornwall Park [East Auckland]

Cost - Free

Popularity - 4/5

Hours - [Winter] 7am – 6pm + [Summer] 7am – 9pm

Best Activity - Running, Photoshoots, Picnics, and Walking the Dog.

The best place for a walk, a run, a jog, or a drive through! Cornwall Park is incredible in both Autumn and Spring, with amazing colours. The Cherry Tree blossoms are a large affair, with huge amounts of people and traffic during their bloom in early October each year. I recommend taking a visit in Autumn when most of the trees lose their leaves and turn beautiful shades. There is a lot of space here too, for picnics, walks with your pets, and gatherings of all kinds! The grounds are very large, so be prepared to take your time here. There are also two places to eat here, the central Cornwall Park cafe and the Bistro in two seperate areas and well worth checking out.

Cornwall Park Website: www.cornwallpark.co.nz

Dotti-Sunnies-Black-Hat-Auckland-Domain
Dotti-Sunnies-Black-Hat-Auckland-Domain

Parnell Rose Gardens [Central City]

Cost - Free

Popularity - 3/5

Hours - 24 Hours + 7 Days

Best Activities - Photoshoots, Picnics.

The Parnell Rose Gardens are best in Spring and Summer, and by early summer all the roses are in full bloom. It’s a rainbow of different varieties, and it’s best to visit in the morning or evening when it’s not too hot as it’s relatively exposed. Further along inside the Parnell Rose Gardens are the Nancy Steen Gardens, inspired by English gardens the spring blooms are exquisite. Down the bank of these Gardens is the water’s edge and a little wharf. Perfect for adventures and inspiration, with some of Parnell’s best cafes nearby including Rosies, Chocolate Boutique, and Casa Del Gelato.

Parnell Rose Garden Website: www.nzroses.org.nz/dove-myer-garden-parnell


Auckland Botanic Gardens [South Auckland]

Cost - Free

Popularity - 5/5

Hours - [Winter] 8am – 6pm + [Summer] 8am – 8pm

Best Activities - Running, Walking, Photoshoots, Picnics, and Walking the Dog.

Of all the gardens in Auckland the Botanic Gardens in Manurewa are the most fantastic. Absolutely huge, spanning 64 hectares it’s an opportunity for a whole day visit. The gardens are sectioned into areas for different types of plant life, including cacti, tropical plants, native bush, forests, the perennial gardens, rose gardens, and many others. The best time of year to visit is Spring and early Summer in December when the perennial gardens are in full bloom. Loads of colours and impressively well tended to the Botanic Gardens are the place to get one with nature! 

Auckland Botanic Gardens Website: www.aucklandbotanicgardens.co.nz/

Playsuit, hat and sunnies from Dotti. Earrings and shoes from Kmart.

Playsuit, hat and sunnies from Dotti. Earrings and shoes from Kmart.

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