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The botanic garden displays a variety of bird and plant collections.

Horticultural collections include roses, thematic borders, camellias, a rock garden, New Zealand native plants and four hectares of Rhododendron Dell with more than 3,000 rhododendrons.

An important aspect of The New Zealand Native plant collection is the cultivation of rare and endangered native plant species.

The geographic plant collections are an expression of the Victorian practice of collecting and growing plants from all around the world. This collection displays plants from every continent except Antarctica.

Brief summaries of each collection are provided below. If you have questions about the collections, please contact us.

Alpine House

Haemanthus coccineus

The Alpine House is a sheltered and secure environment where we can display tender, difficult to grow alpine plants and bulbs.

The Arboretum

Acer Davidii Arboretum

The Arboretum is a collection of deciduous and evergreen trees. It is located on the slopes above the Lower Garden, extending up to the aviary and Geographic Collection.



Over 100 individual birds live at the aviary: South American, Australian, Asiatic and New Zealand natives. The majority are Australian, linking to the surrounding Australian plants border.

The Camellia collection

Paeony Camellia Borders

The Camellia Collection is planted in the borders surrounding the lawn area in the southwest part of the lower garden and underneath the beech trees on the south main walk.

Clive Lister Garden

Fritillaria imperialis 'Aurea'

The Clive Lister Garden was established from a generous bequest from Professor Clive Lister, who died in August 1995. An informal garden was designed to reflect the spirit of his bequest and was opened in 1998.

The Geographic plant collections

Protea cynaroides Southern African Garden

This collection has plants from all around the world, grouped by continent. These descriptions mention key features of each grouping.

Winter Garden Glasshouse

Winter Garden Glasshouse

The Winter Garden Glasshouse is an Edwardian style building that contains a range of plants form tropical, desert and sub-tropical regions.

Herbaceous Borders

Alstroemeria Red Baron

The Herbaceous Borders include the long border and the five colour borders located at the north end of the lower Botanic Garden.

The Herb Garden

Herb garden

In the sunken Herb Garden you can savour the scents of herbs or muse by the fountain.

Native plant collection


Plants from mainland New Zealand and offshore islands grow successfully in Dunedin's climate. New Zealand has a rich and varied flora, with many endemic species. Over 10 percent of New Zealand's flora is threatened, often due to habitat modification and destruction. Threatened plants from such habitats are among the plants grown in the Native Plant Collection in the Botanic Garden.

Rhododendron Dell

Rhododendron Dell Cherry Walk

The Rhododendron Dell occupies four hectares in the southeastern corner of the Garden, between Lovelock Avenue and the Water of Leith. It may be entered from any of the signposted foot tracks, or directly from the visitor's carpark off Lovelock Avenue.

Rock Garden

Rock Garden

The Rock Garden contains plants from all over the world and is built on a northwest facing bank above Lindsay Creek. Peak flowering time is in October.

Rose Garden

Rosa Betty Boop

The Rose Garden is divided into three main sections - species roses, old garden roses and modern roses. Peak flowering time is from November to late February.

Theme Borders

Chaenomeles 'Dazzler'

A series of five separate beds showing plants with unifying characteristics, or themes, has been established in the Lower Garden.

The Water Garden

Water Garden

The Water Garden provides the ideal environment for mainly exotic plants that have adapted to moist, boggy and aquatic situations.