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The Rotorua Festival of Gardens has run biennially since 1992, with this year, 2023, marking the 16th event. Each festival has showcased a wide variety of private gardens in the Rotorua community.


A multi-faceted event, the Rotorua Festival of Gardens began as a way to promote the Rotorua district as an attractive place live and visit as well as encouraging people to become more garden-conscious. Those objectives remain, but currently the emphasis is more strongly weighed towards encouraging beginners to take up gardening as a healthy hobby that offers many benefits, including the chance to supplement the family food bill, perhaps eat organically, enjoy the simple pleasure of seeing plants, shrubs and trees grow, the satisfaction of creating a personal ‘paradise’ and even make new friends. 


Whether visitors are interested in gardens that are old-established or just getting started, country or city, rambling to formal, quirky or food-focused, this year’s crop of 40-plus gardens offer something to inspire, interest and delight every festivalgoer. Experienced gardeners will particularly enjoy the chance to talk to the gardeners who have opened their property and perhaps gain tips, information, and/or inspiration to work on a new garden project.

Every garden reflects what has been (or is being) achieved by the efforts of imaginative and enthusiastic owners over time. Beginners need to remember that everybody started somewhere. Regardless of plant knowledge or experience, it’s a trial-and-error process. Old hands will tell you they never stop learning.

The Original Vision​​

To promote the Rotorua district as an attractive place to live or visit.


To organise and promote biennial Rotorua Festival of Gardens events to encourage people to become more garden conscious.


To hold associated garden events intended to stimulate a love of gardening.


To raise funds to cover the cost of each festival. Should the event produce any surplus, those funds will be donated to a local charity (or charities) determined by the festival gardeners themselves at the Rotorua Festival of Gardens AGM.

Rotorua Festival of Gardens

PO Box 2264

Rotorua 3040

Palmers Rotorua (Key Sponsor & Festival Hub)

147 Sala Street

Rotorua 3010

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