Dunedin Chinese Garden

by Insiders Dunedin

Peacefulness. It's a common enough commodity in the countryside but can be near impossible to find in a city centre. So too can be links to the more diverse threads of a city's heritage. Dunedin took both issues and hit them out of the park when it commissioned the Dunedin Chinese Garden.

Peacefulness? You bet. The garden surrounds a central lake where fish, ducks and lilies compete with glassy reflections of sculpted rock, curved rooflines and a waterfall. High walls silence the surrounding city while the garden's beauty, both botanical and built, keeps your mind from daily worries.

Your mind can wander, though, to the Chinese who helped build Dunedin. A collection of story boards tell the tale of a people who, some 150 years ago, took a chance on a country at the bottom of the world. They tried their luck on the Otago gold fields before feeding Dunedin with their market gardens.

Despite being in a land where they were somewhat sidelined by the majority population the Chinese stayed, flourished and succeeded. The garden, one of only three authentic Chinese scholars gardens outside of China, is testimony to that.

As well as bewitching thousands of tourists a year it also hosts an array of cultural classes and serves traditional Chinese food. Teas include aromatic Jasmine and the orchid-aromas of Tie Guam Yin. Dumplings and buns wrap around several fillings, from red bean to BBQ pork to custard.

The garden is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Adult entry is $9, children 12 and under are free.


Post submitted by Craig Borley


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