Parnells Rose Garden offers a colourful haven in busy city

In 1914 Auckland ratepayers approved a £15,000 loan to snap up 9.5 acres of land in Parnell overlooking Judge’s Bay with a view to converting it into a park. While the final amount ended up being just over £1,000 more, many would consider this a trifling sum for what would become a popular attraction for tourists and Aucklanders alike.

Dove-Meyer Robinson Park (named after Auckland’s longest serving Mayor), which is just a five minute drive from downtown Auckland, is home to Parnells Rose Gardens and the Nancy Steen Gardens.

With over rose 5,000 bushes, the Park is a festival of scents and colours throughout summer and autumn.

Floral beauty comes in many forms here.

A number of the rose bushes have been bred by rose breeders from around the world to create an eclectic mix of truly original blooms. Those who prefer a more classic take on their flowers can enjoy the heritage roses on display in the Nancy Steen Gardens, while the White Garden has proven to be a popular backdrop for weddings.

Even when the rose bushes aren’t in bloom, the Park is a popular haven for locals and a “must visit” destination for out-of-towners, with its sweeping views of the Waitemata Harbour.

A spectacular array of native trees include the city’s oldest Manuka and largest Pohutukawa. A network of pathways lead to shady and secluded picnic spots, or gently wind through native bush down to Judge’s Bay and the Parnell Baths (perfect for a refreshing dip on hot summer days).

The historic St Stephen’s Chapel is just a short walk away and provides a beautiful echo of Auckland’s past.

So too does Parnells on the Rose Gardens, which is located on the Gladstone Road entrance to the park.

This lovingly restored building, with its classic Edwardian lines, was the home of the Gillies Family, the owners of the land that was purchased by the Council back in 1915. Today it serves as a tearooms and as an idyllic venue for events, from weddings through to corporate functions.

Parnells Rose Garden

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