Also known as The Domain, Duck Ponds, Wintergardens, Sensory Gardens, Pukekawa, Pukekaroa, Cenotaph, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Band Rotunda, Kiosk and Gum Tree Hill.
- Park Road, Grafton.
- 2.5km - 5 minute drive from Downtown Auckland.
Auckland Domain is the city's oldest park and is spacious and diverse. The Wintergardens are a feature of the Domain with the Auckland War Memorial Museum sitting at the highest point. There are formal gardens, duck ponds, large green open spaces edged by mature trees, bush walks and statuary.
The 75ha park has been developed around the cone of an extinct volcano. The 'tuff rings' created by volcanic activity thousands of years ago can be seen in the land contours and forms a natural amphitheatre with about 10 hectares developed as first-class sports fields.
The Formal Gardens evolved from an 1860's Auckland Acclimatisation Society site to test and propagate exotic trees, birds, and trout. The Duck Ponds are the source, in 1866, of Auckland's first piped water supply. The nearby kiosk made its debut at the Great Industrial Exhibition of 1913-1914 as 'the ideal New Zealand house'. The 1912 band rotunda, and the statuary, inform of the Domain's tradition of individual or publicly subscribed gifts.
How to get there
From Downtown Auckland, from Queen St, turn left onto Karangahape Road, then right onto Symonds Street. Turn left onto Khyber Pass Road, then left onto Grafton Road, then right onto Park Road.
A more direct route from Symonds Street is across Grafton Bridge through Grafton Road and Park Road but note that, while walking across the bridge is allowed, there are strict restrictions on what vehicles are allowed to cross the bridge at certain times and fines are imposed on those who ignore the restrictions.
The main park gates are on Park Road, Grafton by Auckland Hospital, just a short walk across Grafton Bridge from upper Symonds Street. Other vehicle entrances are from Stanley Street, George Street and Titoki Street.
Get directions with Google Maps.
Bus and trains
The Link bus service stops at the Domain and there is the nearby Grafton train station. VIsit the MAXX website or phone 09 366 6400.
Pedestrian access: 24 hours
Amenities and activities
The section of the park known as Gum Tree Hill is set aside as a dog exercise area. The gum trees provide shade for the hilly area on hot days.
Garden for the blind
A garden for the blind is located near the intersection of Titoki Street and Maunsell Road extension and contains raised beds of aromatic, herbaceous and sensory plants. This was built in association with the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind in 1970.
Magnolia gardens sit along Domain Drive just past the Parnell Tennis Club and contain a variety of magnolias.
The 10 hectares of sports fields include 10 fields for rugby, league and soccer during the winter and 19 cricket wickets for the summer. This open area is surrounded by trees, monuments and the old grandstand. There is also a cricket pitch.
The Wintergarden complex was established after World War I and is a protected heritage site.
The complex consists of:
- two display glasshouses (temperature averaging 20°C), one containing temperate plants, the other containing tropical plants
- a formal courtyard with a pond in the centre
- a fernery within an old quarry.
The complex is open all year round and is available for private events outside of public hours. You can take photos throughout the public areas but no wedding or private photos can be taken in the display houses during public hours. Entry is free.
Wintergardens opening hours
1 April-31 October - Monday to Sunday 9am to 4.30pm.
1 November-31 March - Monday to Saturday 9am to 5.30pm and Sunday 9am to 7.30pm.