Queen’s Gardens stretches between Bridge and Hardy Streets and is a beautiful example of a classical Victorian ornamental park. Centrally located information panels placed around the garden reveal its history.
Queen’s Gardens formally opened in 1892 to celebrate the Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It was designed around the residual part of the Maitai River called the Eel Pond – a food gathering place for the Maori.
The first European settlers used the land where the Gardens now exist as a meat market (abattoir) until the 1880s. In 1887 the area was dedicated the ‘Queen’s Gardens’ and the following year a competition was held for its design. Mr Antequil Somerville won the competition and began design work right away. In the early 20th century, the Memorial Gates and the Boer War Memorial were added.
The Gardens are inspired by an intimate, Victorian garden. They reflect the growth and development of the city. Visitors will find a diverse plant and Notable Tree collection and also a place for social and civic gatherings, public relaxation and enjoyment.
The Queen’s Gardens are registered as a historic place with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.
Stroll around and enjoy the park’s sculptures, which include The Cupid Fountain, the Water Wheel, the Boer War memorial, Sentinel and fine memorial gates at both main entrances.
Queen’s Gardens is administered by the Nelson City Council.