Danny Yee >> Travelogues >> New Zealand: Coromandel, Central Plateau, Waikato

Hamilton Gardens

Sprawling along the banks of the Waikato, the Hamilton Gardens are extensive. I turned up at around 6.30pm and asked at the information desk which areas I should see if I only had an hour; they recommended the "Paradise Gardens", in six different styles.

The Japanese Garden of Contemplation is "An example of the 14th-16th Century Muromachi Period gardens designed for quiet contemplation and study".

English Flower Garden
The English Flower Garden is "An example of the English 19th Century Arts and Crafts gardens designed as a setting for plant collections and planned seasonal colour compositions".

The American Modernist Garden is "A late 20th Century garden for outdoor living designed in the American West Coast tradition." I can only assume this is unfinished - what's there barely qualifies as a garden, anyway, it's a backyard pool surrounded by a lot of concrete.

Chinese Scholar's Garden
Italian Renaissance Garden

The Chinese Scholar's Garden is "An interpretation of the 10th-12th Century Sung Dynasty gardens that were designed as natural worlds of imagination and surprise". An organised wilderness, this was the garden that appealed most to me.

The Italian Renaissance Garden is "An interpretation of the 15th-16th Century Renaissance Gardens that sought to rationalise and improve upon nature". Very stylised, this seemed almost the opposite of the Chinese Garden. At one end of this garden is a balcony overlooking the Waikato River. With almost no signs of human habitation visible on its banks at this point, this makes an impressive outlook.

The Indian Char Bagh Garden is "An interpretation of a 16h-17th Century symbolic four-quartered garden built for the Mughal aristocracy as an escape from a harsh environment." It wasn't yet open when I visited -- in fact it was due to open the following day.

I'd just finished exploring these gardens at 8pm when they started locking up. So I didn't get to visit the Fantasy Gardens ("Perfume" and "Time") or the Productive Gardens ("Herb", "Kitchen", and "Permaculture").

The Hamilton Gardens are well worth visiting, even if you're just passing through. For more information, they have their own website.

Next: Kauri Loop Track + Waikato Museum
Previous: Cambridge, Te Atawumpu, Oturohanga
Up: Coromandel, Tongariro, Waikato, Auckland

New Zealand: Coromandel, Central Plateau, Waikato << Travelogues << Danny Yee