Plan your visit to the Botanic Gardens

Kia ora and welcome to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.


Located just 15 minutes from the city centre, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens (external link)is at the heart of the city's reputation as the Garden City.

Our impressive collection of plants provide a tranquil oasis. From the spring drifts of daffodils, spectacular summer roses and herbaceous border, stunning autumn leaf display and cosy conservatories to warm up in over winter, there's something to delight in every season. The New Zealand Garden also offers an accessible glimpse into the country’s unique wilderness to lose yourself in throughout the year.

We host a number of fun events at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, especially throughout the summer months and school holidays with live music and discovery trails. Check our What’s On pages to help plan your visit.

Entrance to the Botanic Gardens is free and with over a million visitors a year, we are a must-see Christchurch attraction. Add us to your itinerary.

Dogs, cycles and scooters


To help preserve our unique and peaceful environment please remember no dogs are allowed within the Botanic Gardens. As an alternative, take your dog to Hagley Park to enjoy the wide open spaces instead.

Cyclists and electric scooters

For safety reasons, all cyclists must dismount in the Botanic Gardens and continue on foot.

Electric scooters (including those provided by Lime) are also prohibited from the grounds.

Opening hours

Botanic Gardens

Free entry. 

Open every day of the year from 7am.

Gate closing times change depending on the time of year.

Date Gate closing times
November to February 9:00pm
March 8.30pm
April to September 6.30pm
October 8.30pm

Visitor Centre and ilex Cafe

Date Opening times
September to May 9am to 5pm
June to August 9am to 4pm
Christmas Day Closed


Date Opening times
Daily 10am to 4pm
Christmas Day Closed

Getting to the Botanic Gardens

Located in central Christchurch, there are many ways to get to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

On foot

The Gardens are conveniently located close to the central city and only a 10-minute walk from Cashel Street Mall and The Crossing, a 20-minute walk from Riccarton Mall and a 15-minute walk from New Regent Street.

By bike

Once you arrive at the Gardens there are bike racks at the three main entrances - in both the Armagh and Riccarton Avenue carparks, as well as near the entrance to the Gardens on Rolleston Avenue.

Bikes are not permitted to be ridden in the grounds, however cyclists are free to roam in neighbouring Hagley Park.

By bus

The closest bus route to the Gardens is via the Yellow Line, which stops along Riccarton Avenue.

Please visit the Metro Christchurch website(external link)(external link) for information on bus routes and timetables as they are subject to change.


There are two large public car parks in the Botanic Gardens:

  • Riccarton Avenue entrance
  • Armagh Street entrance

You are welcome to park in either of these places for up to 180 minutes free of charge Monday to Friday. During the weekend there is no time limit.

Please note, both of these car parks can be very busy on sunny days. We recommend getting here early to secure a car park and either carpooling or using public transport to minimise congestion.

Disability and access


There are four disability car parks in the Riccarton car park and five disability car parks in the Armagh car park. Mobility cards must be displayed in vehicles.


There are accessible toilets at the front of the Gardens towards the back of the Museum building and in the Visitor Centre.

Loan mobility scooters and wheelchairs

For those with limited mobility, the Council in conjunction with TSB Bank provide three mobility scooters for use within the Gardens and Hagley Park during Visitor Centre opening hours at no charge. Bookings can be made prior to your visit through the Visitor Centre, phone (03) 941 7590.

There is a manual wheelchair available at the Kiosk, just over the footbridge from the Armagh Street carpark, which can be used to help anyone with limited mobility to get from their car to the Visitors Centre, where there are mobility scooters.

Liberty Swing

A Liberty Swing is located in the play area in the Botanic Gardens. To use the Liberty Swing, collect a key from the Visitor Centre.

Limited mobility tours

See the Tours(external link)(external link) page for more information.

Eat, shop, dine

You'll find great options to eat, shop and dine nestled within the peaceful environment of the Gardens.

ilex cafe

September to May: open daily 9am to 5pm.

June to August: open daily 9am to 4pm.

The ilex cafe, found in the Visitor Centre, offers a relaxing dining experience with a focus on locally sourced ingredients.  

A delightful space for a social catch up with friends, a special lunch or just a delicious hot coffee for your stroll through the gardens. 

To contact the cafe, call 03 941 5556.

Lucky Duck

Open during the summer on weekdays 10am to 3pm, and weekends 10am to 5pm.

Lucky Duck is a food outlet located in the refurbished Botanic Gardens Tea Kiosk, right next to the playground and paddling pool. 

Designed to take away, it's perfect for a quick coffee, ice cream or to pick up some picnic treats to enjoy in the Gardens.

Curator's House

Open seven days for lunch, dinner and tapas.

The Curator's House(external link), off Rolleston Ave was originally built in 1920 for the curator of the Botanic Gardens but today serves authentic Spanish cuisine and tapas.

Enjoy a stroll through the working fruit and vegetable gardens on the banks of the Avon River.




Visitor Centre

September to May: open daily 9am to 5pm.

June to August: open daily 9am to 4pm.

The award-winning Visitor Centre(external link) is home to our gift shop, which stocks a carefully selected range of beautiful, botanically inspired home and giftware. 

It's a lovely place to browse for a unique souvenir or special gift for friends and family.

To contact staff at the gift shop call (03) 941 7590.