I've been writing a general travel blog for about 18 months now, and realised that a theme was emerging through my travels: I always seek out the amazing gardens, particularly of the botanic variety, or those dedicated to the collection of exotic varieties of plants. Beautiful flower gardens fit in that picture too - colour is a wonderful part of life! In recent months, I've done a number of posts on Dunedin's lovely gardens, in the South Island of New Zealand - links below.
These lovely gardens are huge, occupying 30.4 hectares of Dunedin city's northern suburbs. They run along the main road and back down towards the University and then range up the hill, to a height of 85 metres (above sea level). There is a wide range of horticultural and botanical collections including roses, herbaceous and perennial borders, a rock garden, New Zealand native plants and four hectares of Rhododendron Dell with more than 3,000 rhododendrons'. There's also the New Zealand Native plant collection and 'the cultivation of rare and endangered native plant species.' I wrote about these gardens in a travel blog from October 2017.
Wandering through the gardens to the restaurant (which has a fantastic menu btw and great coffee), we passed roses, rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias, fuchsias and many other varieties of beautiful flowers, integrated amongst the native ferns, exotic imports and indigenous New Zealand trees. I'm told its not just a summer garden either, but that each season brings its own special array of colours and fabulousness too. I wrote about these gardens in a travel blog from November 2017.
We visited the Chinese gardens at the end of winter, when the trees were still not yet alive (as I imagine they would be come spring / summer). They were beautiful still. Separated from the city, by a high wall, a hidden oasis has been created. You wander down walkways that border the large pond; over small Chinese bridges; and past waterfalls. You can feel Chinese tradition and heritage in every step. I wrote about these gardens in a travel blog from September 2017.
The gardens and grounds at Larnach Castle, on the Otago Peninsula (near Dunedin), are also worthy of a mention. I've written about them a couple of times - on a general post, following my first big visit to Dunedin, and then on a special post just on the Castle. Here, the immaculately managed gardens frame stunning views down the harbour - best seen both from the garden walks and the castle roof-top.