The new Hamilton Gardens Visitor Entry Precinct project, which includes a new Visitor Centre and enhancements to Hamilton Gardens Café, will transform how visitors are welcomed to the world-class Hamilton Gardens. Anyone can drop into the Hamilton Gardens Information Centre on Wednesday 15 February from 4pm to 6pm and Sunday 19 February from 10am to 2pm to check out the plans and talk to staff.
Along with a clear, secure entry point into the Enclosed Gardens and better flow, there’ll be a new retail space and range of amenities expected of a modern facility.
The new Entry Precinct will create a sense of arrival which reflects the gardens loved by visitors from near and far, said Lucy Ryan, Director at Hamilton Gardens.
“We need a new Visitor Centre to manage the volume of visitors the gardens attracts during the peak summer months and to ensure a rich welcome that complements our world-class gardens. The Visitor Centre will also enable the processing of paid entry into the gardens.”
Hamilton City Council’s 2021-2031 Long-Term Plan established a fee of $10 for non-Hamiltonians over the age of 16 years old to access the Enclosed Gardens from the end of 2023 or early 2024.
Everyone, no matter their location, will continue to have free access to the outer gardens which includes Roger’s Rose Garden, Rhododendron Lawn, Camellia Garden, children’s playground, Turtle Lake and Hamilton Gardens Café.
“Our gardens are internationally recognised and award-winning. I’m pleased Hamiltonians will continue to have free access to this fabulous city asset,” said Mayor Paula Southgate.
The design for the new Visitor Centre utilises part of the Hamilton Gardens Pavilion which includes upgrades to improve the hirer’s experience, provide more flexibility and options for bookable spaces, and increase their use.
“There are limited options as to where the new Visitor Centre can go. It needs to be next to the entrance to the Enclosed Gardens but can’t take any space from the Enclosed Gardens as they are the main attraction that people from all corners of the world come to see,” said Mayor Southgate.
The Visitor Entry Precinct Project is part of the $12 million Hamilton Gardens Development Programme which also includes four new gardens: the Ancient Egyptian Garden which opened in May 2022 and the Medieval, Pasifika and Baroque Gardens which are currently under development. Council is seeking $5 million in external funding towards this programme.
Other features include clear links to the café, toilets, drinking fountains and the new retail space as well as providing improved amenity and safety measures such as security cameras, a public address system, data and Wi-Fi, power, safety lighting and automated bollards. Visitors will exit the Enclosed Gardens via the retail space.