Waikato River - Hamilton Gardens
Hamilton Gardens is a group of public gardens in the south of Hamilton owned and managed by Hamilton City Council in New Zealand. They are the Waikato Region's most popular visitor attraction, attracting 600,000 people and holding over 2,000 events each year.
The gardens present the theme of 'the story of gardens' and are divided into the Paradise, Productive, Fantasy, Cultivar and Landscape garden collections.
Entry to the gardens is free, with most gardens open from 7:30am to 6:00pm in winter and 7:00am to 8:00pm in summer. In the center of Hamilton Gardens is a convention center called the Hamilton Gardens Pavilion, a volunteer operated Information Center, the Turtle Lake Restaurant and the Turtle Lake Café.
The first development of gardens began in the early 1960s at what was then the city's waste disposal site. The first substantial development, the Rogers Rose Garden, was opened in 1971 in an attempt to block highway development over the site. Since 1982 many newly developed areas have been opened to the public. Additional features of the gardens include a lake walkway and a waterfall outlook. - taken Apr 2012, Hamilton, New Zealand