Dunedin Botanic Garden

Dunedin City District

New Zealand's oldest botanic garden

This is such an expanse of places to play and explore, you will need some time. I would say, come back on several occasions and enjoy all seasons this place has to offer. A great kids playground, train rides for kids (on Sundays), a massive glasshouse with tropical plants, a cafe, about 28 hectares of garden, trails, an aviary, the list goes on and on.


The gardens are huge, with multiple parking lots. There is also heaps of street parking right around them. I would recommend to make it easy, park in the lower parking lot that comes off of Cumberland St. Or at the parking lot of of Lovelock Ave in the upper gardens.

Helpful links

A chunk of history via Wikipedia and Teara

New Zealand's first botanic garden was located on what is now the University of Otago. Established on 30 June 1863, it is 10 days older than the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. A massive flood came down the Water of Leith back in 1868 and caused severe damage to the gardens, they packed up their trees and moved to where they are now. A man named David Tannock, who was trained at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England - took up the position of Dunedin's superintendent of reserves in 1903. He is the man we can thank today for how the gardens have turned out.

When the gardens first moved here, not much was around, the native bush had been cleared by the settlers, but since then and now, the native bush has grown back. About a quarter of the gardens are native bush, mostly on the upper gardens. Right on the other side of Lovelock Ave, is Lovelock Bush, which is named after Jack Lovelock (click here for his Wiki page - a very good read). Jack was an amazing 1500m runner, and won the 1936 gold medal at the Berlin Olympics setting a world record in the final of 3:47.8.

I've been here so many times, and it doesn't get old - Stu