Friends programmes

Learn more about Friends programmes and opportunities.

Sculpture in the Gardens

The Friends initiated and are instrumental in delivering Sculpture in the Gardens, a magnificent biennial summer exhibition at the Auckland Botanic Gardens. Visit the Sculpture in the Gardens website for more information.

SITG logo

2020/21 Photographic Competition

Enter the Friends Photographic Competition in one of four categories: Gardenscape, Creative Angles, Friends of Flowers and Youth. The competition dates have been moved due to the Covid-19 disruption. It will be open to all Auckland Botanic Garden visitors until 21 February 2021. Competition entry details.

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Growing Friends

The Friends run a passionate group of volunteers called the ‘Growing Friends’ who propagate and sell plants to the public. All proceeds go towards developments at the Gardens.

The Growing Friends open their gates to public on:

  • Thursday mornings 9am–12pm
  • The first Sunday of the month 10am–2pm in spring, autumn and summer. (No Sunday sales in June, July and August).

From the carpark, follow the road between the Botanic Gardens visitor centre and the Herb Garden. Look for the entry on your right just before the lake, a flag flies at the gate entry when the Growing Friends are open for business.

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The Friends Library

Based at Auckland Botanic Gardens, the Friends Library has one of the largest selections of horticultural books, journals and reference materials in the country. The library is managed by the Auckland Botanic Gardens staff with financial and volunteer support from the Friends. Find out more here.

Library books on the shelf

Little Sprouts

Every month the Friends support a one hour session for under-fives that celebrates nature and the seasons through stories, songs and craft. You can learn more about upcoming Little Sprouts sessions through our What's On page.


Painting Friends

The Friends Painting Group holds annual exhibitions in the Visitor Centre Gallery. This friendly group meets on the last Saturday of each month in the Friends Building at Auckland Botanic Gardens. Tutors are invited to lead and support every second month. The focus is botanical but members are encouraged to try other subjects and a variety of media.

brush and chalk

Wiri Rambler

The Wiri Rambler is a guided tour run by volunteers to allow more visitors to explore and enjoy the Auckland Botanic Gardens. Find out more here.

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The Buchanan Award provides an outstanding opportunity for an Auckland Botanic Garden staff member to undertake professional development. The Friends award this annually to a chosen recipient. For announcements and other news relating to this award, please check the News section.

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Friends Artist in Residence

The 2021 Friends Artist in Residence is Jennifer Duval-Smith. 

Jennifer will be painting at the Gardens in January as the 2021 Friends of the Gardens Artist-in-Residence. An exhibition of her work will be held in February in our Huakaiwaka Gallery. 

Come and visit Jennifer and see what she is up to! 

Download and print fun kids activity sheets themed to complement Jennifer's visit to enjoy your trip and give the kids a great experience at the Gardens:

Jennifer is at the Gardens on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 10am-2pm (11 January - 5 February 2021).

You can also join in some fabulous workshops - get inspired and get creative!

  • Nature journaling for keen kids (age 8-15), Saturday 16 January: find out more
  • Nature journaling in the vege garden for beginners, Saturday 23 January: find out more.
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Contact the Friends

For further information about the Friends, please email or phone 021 122 7418.