The Visitor Centre is an excellent starting point for exploring the Gardens. Ask our friendly staff for guidance on seasonal highlights or collect a map.

The Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre houses a function room, the ilex café and a permanent exhibition that tells the story of Christchurch and Canterbury through plants and gardening.(external link)

Our gift shop sells an array of botanical, garden and nature-inspired giftware and souvenirs. 

The Visitor Centre is also home to the operational side of the Gardens, with a working nursery, reference library, herbarium and potting sheds.

To contact staff in our Visitor Centre or gift shop call 03 941 7590.


Since opening in 2014, the building has attracted favourable attention in the world of architecture. Industry awards include an award in the Public Architecture category at the Canterbury Architecture Awards in 2015. The awards are run by the New Zealand Institute of Architects.