Dunedin Botanic Garden

Spot native birdlife, admire thousands of colourful plant species and enjoy picnics on lush green lawns at this pretty public garden.

Spend a day in nature at Dunedin Botanic Garden. Wander amid towering trees and marvel at multi-coloured flowers from all corners of the globe. Visit an aviary and appreciate the views from the garden’s hills. Established in 1863, Dunedin Botanic Garden is New Zealand’s oldest botanical garden. It covers an area of around 30 hectares (75 acres), which consists of an arboretum, greenhouses, rockeries, and more.

The garden is loosely divided into the Upper Garden and Lower Garden, both crisscrossed by trails and pathways. In the Upper Garden, walk in the shadow of huge deciduous and evergreen trees in the arboretum. See displays of plant species from Mediterranean countries and South Africa. Wander around a collection of over 2,000 rhododendrons in the Rhododendron Dell, which explodes with vivid colours in spring. Listen to the harmonious sound of birdsong in the aviary. See bellbirds, parrots, tui and wood pigeon, among others.

In the Lower Garden, the Rose Garden blossoms in summer with roses from Asia, Europe, North America and northwest Africa. Spot herbaceous borders that showcase many shades of blue, red, violet, yellow and white. Discover a collection of tropical plants in the Winter Garden Glasshouse. Don’t miss the winter-flowering camellias native to South East Asia.

Bing your own food to the garden on a sunny day to enjoy a picturesque picnic. Choose from several popular picnic spots, including Friendship Lawn, New Zealand Native Lawn and North Asian Lawn. Alternatively, purchase drinks and snacks at the on-site café.

Located in the suburb of North Dunedin, the garden is a 10-minute drive from Dunedin’s city centre. Public buses stop at the main entrance on Opoho Road. Parking is available inside the grounds.

Dunedin Botanic Garden is open daily from dawn until dusk. Admission is free. Pick up a map of the garden and information about its major highlights at the visitor centre.