The magnolias, rhododendrons, and azaleas were out and blooming in Hagley Park when I arrived in Christchurch on October 6, but almost all of the blossoms had already fallen off the trees.
Here’s a valuable tip: If you are planning a trip to Hagley Park in spring, visit the Christchurch City Council web site and take a look at the Botanic Gardens Seasonal Highlights, where you can see what kind of flowers are in bloom when.
On this page you will also see that the magnolias start blooming in September, while the rhododendrons and azaleas are in bloom throughout October, but that the blossoms are out during September and gone by October. In addition, the autumn leaf display takes place in April and May. Hagley Park is definitely worth a visit if you’re in Christchurch.
It is fair to say that I was late this year for spring on the South Island in New Zealand. Had I arrived perhaps 2 weeks earlier, so in the third or last week of September, I might have caught the start or even the peak of spring blossoms on the South Island.
Since Hagley Park did not have much to offer other than flowers on low shrubs and I really wanted to see spring blossoms on trees, I decided to head south to one of my favorite gardens to visit during autumn to see what it had to offer me this relatively late spring.
I was surprised to see that Ashburton Domain & Gardens still had some spring blossoms left on several trees. Ashburton Domain & Gardens is well-maintained and the flowers smell really good in spring. Entry to the garden is free, by the way.
If you ever decide to plan a trip to see spring blossoms on the South Island of New Zealand, I highly recommend paying a visit to Ashburton and in particular its garden. You will not only see blossoms in the garden, but also along the streets in town and in people’s yards.
On my way out of Christchurch, I drove the usual route from Christchurch to Queenstown, but then stopped in Cromwell instead of driving onto Queenstown. The two towns that had a good few spring blossoms on trees were Geraldine and Omarama. Fairlie, while good to visit in autumn, did not have as many spring blossoms, except for a few in people’s yards.