Tranquility in the Heart of the City


Member Rating 4 out of 5 by svearvaldyr on December 22, 2008

You hear about many cities' famous botanic gardens but you don't often hear about Christchurch's. I suspect that's because it's not set out like many Botanic Gardens are - they're not as scrupulously constructed as many are, there's not as many latin names attached to the trees and plants as you wander around the place. But that shouldn't stop you from having a look around. Whilst they may not be one of the best from a botanical standpoint, what they are is an extremely pleasant environment to stroll around within comfortable walking distance of the city centre.

They're free, so there's no financial impediment. You can find them easily, right next to Christchurch Museum and over the road from the Christchurch Art Gallery. There are some really beautiful trees scattered around the gardens, and in a very natural way. It doesn't feel sculpted, which makes it a very relaxing place to be. The walkways lead you along tree-lined pathways, around rock gardens and flower gardens and through a host of sculptures and fountains and bridges.

One of the most interesting features of the place is the Peace Bell. It hangs on the north side of the river, constructed of bronze donated from a host of countries around the world. It has no clapper, but rings melodiously with the tap of a finger, despite its size.

With a selection of other attractions within easy grasp, it's a good place to come and unwind on a summery Christchurch day. The museum, the art gallery, the old bandstand, the Peace Bell, kayaking on the river - it all adds up to an oft-forgotten garden city landmark that's well worth an hour or two's exploration.
Botanic Gardens
Rolleston Avenue
Christchurch, New Zealand, 8001
+64 (0)3 366 1701

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