Take a break from the cars and crowds of Christchurch without leaving the city. Covering 407 acres (165 hectares) of central Christchurch, Hagley Park is a tranquil park full of green, open spaces. Take a paddleboat down the Avon River, play a match of soccer or rugby, or explore the flower beds and glasshouses of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.
Hagley Park has been a serene getaway for Christchurch residents and visitors since the 1850s. Flanked by the Avon River and Deans Avenue, Hagley comprises several parks and sports grounds. North, South, and Little Hagley Park are ideal for picnics and casual sports. Pathways for walking and cycling wind through the fields and wooded areas. In North Hagley Park, Lake Victoria and Lake Albert are great for walking around or sailing toy boats.
The park is home to the Te Kura Hagley Park Tennis Club, the Hagley Cricket Oval, the Christchurch Netball Courts, and the Hagley Golf Club; there are also petanque and croquet facilities. You can paddle along the Avon River in a boat or kayak from the Antigua Boat Shed on Cambridge Terrace. The Christchurch Botanic Gardens are tucked away underneath North Hagley Park, and Canterbury Museum and the Christchurch Arts Centre are nearby.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Hagley Park is ideal for anyone looking to escape the bustle of Christchurch.
- Some sports grounds are closed to the public—Hagley Oval, for example, is reserved for club, national, and international cricket.
- The Ilex Café near the Botanic Gardens offers food and coffee.
- Breathe easy: Hagley Park is a smoke-free area.
- There is an alcohol ban active in Hagley Park from around 10pm to 7am daily.
- Hagley Park has off-street parking for people with mobility concerns, and mobility scooters are available to rent from the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre.
How to Get There
Hagley Park is a stop on the Christchurch’s tramway, so it’s easy to get to from most of the central city. If you’re taking a bus from outside the central city, Hagley Park is a 30-minute walk west along the Avon River. If you’re driving, you can park off Riccarton Avenue (in the middle of the park) or Armagh Street (over the river from North Hagley Park).
When to Get There
Springtime is tops for taking in the stunning colors of the flowering trees and flower beds. Alternatively, visit during the summer, when local, national, and international bands often play Hagley Park; street performers take over the park and gardens for the Bread & Circus World Buskers Festival; and there are many family-friendly activities happening during the school holidays.
Festival and Events at Hagley Park
There’s always lots going on at Hagley Park throughout the year. The park hosts performers during the annual Bread & Circus World Buskers Festival (late January to early February) and brewers during the Great Kiwi Beer Festival (late January). There are national and international cricket matches at the Hagley Oval, concerts with international artists at North Hagley Park, and a summer events schedule that covers the whole park, including New Year’s Eve fireworks.