Dunedin Chinese Garden

Dunedin PC 061



The traditional shapes and colours of the entrance to the Chinese Garden beckons to us and we enter a place of beauty and tranquillity.

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The garden was prefabricated and assembled in Shanghai on a site identical in size and shape to that in Dunedin. Then they dismantled it and transported it to Dunedin where it was reconstructed on site using artisans and supervisors from Shanghai. It was opened in 2008.

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It is the only authentic Chinese Garden in New Zealand. It is the first in the southern hemisphere and one of only a handful outside China. I checked these facts in Wikipedia…

The garden is an authentic Chinese Garden, having been created with the support of the Dunedin City Council and the Shanghai Municipal Government. It cost $7 million to construct. The garden is New Zealand’s only authentic Chinese Garden and one of only three outside China – the first of its kind to be built in the southern hemisphere. The only other two authentic Chinese Gardens outside of China at the time are in Portland, USA, and Vancouver, Canada.

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All the buildings are intricately constructed in the style that has been used in China since the 4th century BC using no nails. All the rocks and granite also came from China in 100 20ft containers. That attention to detail is what makes this garden authentic and so beautiful.

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These rocks represent the mountains. To see the real thing take a trip over to “catbird in china”. Cathy has recently been exploring China and her photos of the Stone Forest are stunning.

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Walkways meander around the outside of the gardens and intricate windows give tantalising views of the gardens.

A teahouse looks very tempting and the sweet sound of chinese music drifts out, but we have a ship to catch…

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So we walk slowly on. This is a place I would like to spend longer in. This is definitely the downside of a cruise. Time on shore is very limited…

But still time to see more, so follow me…

Shades of Autumn

Shades of Autumn

This looks like a dragon to me.

This looks like a dragon to me, or a prehistoric monster.

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Time to go back over the curved bridge and out into the bustling world of modern-day Dunedin after a tranquil retreat of one hour in ancient China.





Categories: Chinese Garden, cruise, Dunedin, New Zealand, photos, travel | Tags: , , , , | 32 Comments

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32 thoughts on “Dunedin Chinese Garden

  1. I did see this on my phone, Pauline, but had to come back for a proper look. I’ve come to the conclusion that Dunedin is just a place you could take me to and leave me there. 🙂


  2. What an interesting story, Pauline, and it’s funny, I just went to Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai this past weekend. Your Dunedin garden does look very much like it. Your photos of it are gorgeous. It will take me a while before I can post about Yuyuan Garden. It’s all so time consuming, editing all my photos and then posting about my travels. I need to stay home for awhile just so I can catch up!

    Thanks so much for the link to my Stone Forest post. When I finally ever post about Yuyuan Garden, you might want to switch the link to that one. You’ll be amazed at how much these gardens look like that one. 🙂


    • I’ll look forward to seeing the Yuyuan gardens Cathy. I agree about the time it takes to prepare the photos and edit a post. When you are working too it is extra hard. We are home now and I am back tracking through our travels. I notice you are now doing your Myanmar trip I will be over later…

      Are you back at work now?


      • Yes, Pauline, I’m in the midst of marking midterm exams now, no fun at all. I try to make it more palatable by marking 5, then working on my blog, or taking a walk or running an errand, and then doing 5 more! I can only handle marking 20 a day. Next week classes resume for the second half of the semester, then my time here will be winding down. I think you’ll enjoy the Yuyuan Gardens. I know I did. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. you have definitely inspired me to go see that garden while I’m in NZ this year. Having spent a whole week getting my fill in Kyoto in February, I will be ready for more by July. Will be interesting to see what it looks like in winter, though maybe September would be better. will definitely post if I go there.
    the stone forest in Kunming is pretty spectacular, I went there in 2008 (http://www.whatsnextnaomi.com/2008/12/weekend-in-kunming.html), I really must edit my old photos…


    • I’ve been catching up with your Kyoto trip since I got back home. It is a very interesting place. Just been to look at your stone forest pics, WOW, what a place… Lucky you, the world is soon going to be your oyster…


  4. What a fantastic place Pauline! I loved every second x


  5. Pingback: Right Steps. | jacksjottings

  6. And what about the Friendship Garden in Sydney? Is that not authentic?


    • I doubted the brochure Jude so checked with Wikipedia. They confirmed the fact. But I have just looked at another Wikipedia page and yes it contradicts itself by putting the Sydney Chinese garden in the list…


      • This is what happens when it is freely edited and not thoroughly checked. As the Chinese garden was a symbol of friendship between Sydney and Guangzhuo I would have expected it to be authentic. // The garden was designed and built by Chinese landscape architects and gardeners following the Taoist principles of ‘Yin-Yang’ and the five opposite elements—earth, fire, water, metal and wood. These principles also stress the importance of Qi, the central force of life and energy. //


        • I agree that the Sydney Chinese garden is one of the best I have seen. and definitely authentic. I’m surprised no one has corrected Wikipedia.


  7. the photyos are all wonderful, but i especially like the duck floating over the koi. that’s magical!


  8. So lovely, Pauline. i love the ‘spot the odd man out’ pic with the duck and the koi. 😀


  9. What a delight and I so appreciate the link to “catbird in china” Cathy’s site and the stone mountain photos. Just beautiful.


  10. A real treat for the eye!


  11. We visited there a few years back with some American friends – stunning place and your photos are lovely as well


  12. Great photos and interesting information.

    Can I add a Warsaw Chinese garden to Wikipedia’s list?

    “(arsaw’s) China Garden epitomizes the techniques of ancient Chinese architecture and reflects traditional Chinese culture. In the main architecture of China Garden, there are as many as over 10,000 glazed tiles weighing 13 tons in total, which were manufactured by the craftsmen in Liuli Village of Mentougou District, Beijing. The glazed tiles in the buildings of the Forbidden City were also manufactured by them. The main architecture including the waterside pavilions, the hexagonal pavilions, and the stone bridges are supplemented by Chinese stone lions, classical palace lamps and roads paved with quadrels. The stone lions and the lamps are of the same size and shape as those in Prince Kung’s Mansion except that the base of lions were slightly lowered in consideration of the whole environment of the Royal Lazienki Park. The wooden components, Dizhang and tiles were manufactured following the traditional Chinese techniques.”

    There are some photos at the end of https://warsaw2015.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/a-walk-in-lazienki/

    I’ll be returning over the next six weeks.


    • I remember that post Meg and found the article about the building of the Chinese garden in Warsaw very interesting. It certainly sounds like an authentic Chinese garden. Maybe you should tell Wikipedia…
      I’ll look forward to your next photos of it in summer.


  13. Girl Gone Expat

    It is beautiful, I have been to Japanesw gardens but not a Chinese yet. I am amazed with all the details they have put in place. In every picture you share with us there is something new to discover!


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