The Queenstown Gardens, located next to the town of Queenstown, New Zealand is a botanical garden which contains a variety of exotic and native trees and plants as well as a large pond and a range of facilities. Some of the facilities in the garden include a children's playground, tennis, lawn bowls, skate boarding, BMX biking, skating, Parkrun, disc golf and ice skating/ice hockey (See External Links).
Entrance to Gardens on Park Street
|Location||Queenstown, New Zealand|
|Area||14.75 hectares (36.4 acres)|
|Operated by||Queenstown Lakes District Council|
The most visible large tree species in the garden is that of the Douglas fir of which there are many large specimens. This tree also forms a protective forest that surrounds much of the gardens. There is also a Rose Garden just past the tennis court.
The heritage trees planted by the first Mayor of Queenstown, J. W. Robertson, and protected in the gardens are:
- Black Oak (Quercus velutina)
- Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
- Grand Fir (Abies grandis)
- Algerian Fir (Abies nordmanniana)
- Monkey Puzzle (Araucaria araucana)
Māori used the Queenstown Gardens peninsula in pre European times specifically the local tribe of Kāti Māmoe had a settlement here at one stage but it was no longer there once European explorers arrived. The first two trees planted at the garden were English oaks in 1866 by the first Mayor of Queenstown James W. Robertson and Mr McConnochie the nurseryman at the time to commemorate the incorporation of the borough, but it wasn't until 1867 that the gardens were officially opened and the major planting began. Residents at the time set about planting exotic trees which they planted wherever they chose. By the 1900s the Department of Tourist and Health Resorts was promoting the gardens internationally. The band rotunda near the Park Street entrance was originally established in 1891 but rebuilt in 1999 by the Queenstown Lions Club. In the 1960s a formal rose garden was established with 850 rose bushes planted.
There are two significant memorials in the gardens:
- The Scott Memorial unveiled in 1913 is a tribute to Robert Falcon Scott and the men who died during the Antarctic expedition of 1912.
- The Rees Memorial was built in 1978 by the Queenstown and District Historical Society to commemorate the arrival of the areas first settler William Gilbert Rees who arrived in 1860.
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