Travel Notes: Hamilton Gardens, NZ

A single of the most outstanding gardens I feel I have at any time frequented is Hamilton Gardens in New Zealand. Positioned on the North Island, about 1.5 hrs South of Auckland, you will come across the most extraordinary, imaginative and creative gardens I have ever witnessed. A single day, I will get again there.

My views turned not too long ago to my neighbors throughout the ditch with the storms. I have read that Hamilton is in cleanup method, but I have not uncovered significantly on the gardens by themselves. I hope they ended up not much too severely destroyed. Mom Mother nature can be a drive.

The plain entrance hides secret gardens
The plain entrance hides magic formula gardens.

Hamilton Gardens

At Hamilton Gardens, the emphasis is on showcasing different sorts of backyard style and their cultural importance, rather than only accumulating plants. As opposed to regular botanic gardens that prioritize plant collections, conservation, investigation, and education and learning, Hamilton Gardens presents a distinctive concept of highlighting the historical and cultural context of gardens above the previous 4,000 decades.

All over record, gardens have served as a indicates of expressing essential philosophical tips of their time. In several ways, the heritage of gardens reflects the story of civilization and attitudes towards the purely natural entire world.

Hamilton Gardens’ collection of gardens delves into the record, context, and significance of different sorts of gardens. Every single backyard provides a story and presents insight into a unique civilization.

A assortment of layout regions

The gardens are broken up into distinct areas, the Paradise Selection becoming just 1 of them. Of training course, there are also more classic locations, this sort of as the sustainable yard, the Indigenous gardens, and the herb and kitchen area gardens. There are numerous walks and bushland locations, lawns, rose and camellia gardens and even a cemetery. Actually, it is much too large to take a look at all in 1 day and unfortunately that is all we had. So we did the Paradise and the Fantasy sections.

The Paradise Selection

Exploring these gardens is like studying paradise, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Modernist and Indian Char Bagh gardens. Each portion is totally enclosed and independent from the other. It is like going for walks by distinctive countries. Just attractive.

The Fantasy Selection

The surrealist Gardens have been not rather open when we visited, but I believe that they are now, the Tudor Backyard (believe Alice in Wonderland), the Tropical Gardens, the Chinoiserie Back garden, the Mansfield Garden (Believe Katherine Masfield’s “The Backyard garden Party”), The Picturesque Backyard garden (Mozart’s “Magic Flute”). Fully unbelievable and mesmerizing. The details and storytelling are not like anything I have at any time viewed in a garden in advance of.

What equipment to acquire

At the time I only experienced a Sony 18-200mm lens with me, it is an APS-C lens so the images were not entire-measurement (digitally). Which is not a true difficulty as I didn’t approach on printing these billboard measurements. The 18mm gave me the skill to seize extra wide-angled shots and the 200mm gave me zoom capabilities. Offered the possibility once again, potentially my Tamron 28-75mm, my 70-300mm (both equally total-body) and my extension rings for some macro are what I would toss in my kit. I did not have a tripod either, but as it was this kind of a wonderful day I hand-held all my pictures. I am also a tiny lazy and could not be bothered to have it all day. But it could have been a in addition on a couple of photographs.

Viewing the gardens

The gardens are open just about every day of the 12 months (9 a.m. — 5 p.m.) and absolutely free of charge to wander at your leisure. There are parklands, playgrounds and cafes as effectively as public amenities. It is also puppy and smoke-totally free with incapacity accessibility to most parts. You can examine out far more about the gardens on their internet site. If you are at any time in the region, it is unquestionably well worth a go to. I took so several photographs, but I really do not want to spoil the surprise if you at any time get the possibility to check out.

Beware, dragons!
Beware, dragons!


  • Acquire your time in these gardens, probably even give considered to coming again a second day.
  • Wear superior snug doing work footwear, as you will be carrying out a good deal of walking.
  • Don’t forget sunscreen and hats too!
  • Bringing a tripod can be useful, whilst not 100% important Come to a decision no matter whether it’s worthy of carrying for a total day for a couple of pics.
  • Carry your sense of experience and whimsy.

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