I’m always drawn to gardens and parks when I travel. In fact, I have so many I want to visit throughout the world (from Kyoto to Paris to Miami). Hamilton Gardens was a spur in the moment decision. While driving South to Tongariro National Park, I took note of the many cherry blossom trees I saw in bloom. Seeing cherry blossoms is always a treat. Although there are cherry blossoms in California, I’ve always wanted to experience the magic of cherry blossoms in Japan (or sakura as it is called there) which is currently in the works but seeing them in New Zealand will do for now.
Went off tangent for a bit but after seeing the cherry blossoms on our road trip to Tongariro, I researched where I can find cherry blossoms in New Zealand. After going through the results, I ended up finding Hamilton Gardens and learning that they had a tree in bloom. So on our way back from Tongariro to Auckland, we made a quick stop to view the blooms as spring approaches New Zealand.
At the Governor’s Lawn, a cherry blossom tree was in bloom. It took me several tries to get this shot as the first round of shots, it was a bit overcast. The sun finally came out and I was able to capture the cherry blossoms at it’s best. How gorgeous are they?
Camellias are one of the newer flowers to have popped up on social media. It doesn’t have the popularity like peonies does but eventually, I predict it’ll be popular. They have a whole garden full of camellias and they were beautiful!
Hamilton Gardens Cafe
Tamarillo toast and mochaccino
Traveling is always an eye-opening experience in more ways than one. Culinary-wise, it has opened my eyes to new flavors and presentation. Hamilton Gardens Cafe is a cute cafe located inside the gardens next to a lake. I ordered a ginger toast with a tamarillo (it’s so unfamiliar, it actually has an autocorrect!). There were no pictures and nothing for me to figure what tamarillo is so I ordered it and I was in for a surprised.
When I received my plate, I noted the edible flowers that seems to be so prominent all over New Zealand. The tamarillo looked like a pepper! To be honest, I wasn’t sure whether I liked the dish or not. The flavor of the tamarillo did not catch my attention and the toast wasn’t moist as I imagined it to be. The mochaccino (which is what I ordered constantly in New Zealand) were lovely though.
Despite the less than stellar brunch (but very tasty mochaccino), I enjoyed dining out on the patio with family on a beautiful day in Hamilton by the lake.
There are several gardens throughout Hamilton Gardens but we only touched on the Camellia garden, the Tropical Garden, and the Victorian Flower Garden. I wish we had spend more time exploring the various gardens on the property as they seemed to be beautiful!
Hamilton Gardens in New Zealand is a beautiful “attraction” to visit while on the North Island if you love gardens and flowers as much as I do. We arrived during the tail end of winter so I assume the gardens would be amazing in the next coming months for spring! Highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area!