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.

Friends Photo Competition 2022

It is dawn in winter in the gardens and a soft sun is rising over the horizon silhouetting a scultpure of a bird woman. She is sitting on a park bench looking north with her hands clasped, perhaps a little lonely, but also at home.

This year's theme is Capturing the Mood of the Gardens.

Each image must reflect a specific character or mood of the Gardens such as a season or time of day, or people using the Gardens, and must prove that the image is photographed within the Gardens by including part of the landscape. Use this link to download the competition rules and entry form.

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

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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Buchanan Award

The Buchanan Award provides an outstanding opportunity for an Auckland Botanic Gardens 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

Every year the Friends sponser at Artist in Residence at the Gardens.

You can read about the 2021 Artist in Residence Jennifer Duval-Smith here. Jennifer spent the summer in the Gardens drawing inspiration from edible plants.

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Contact the Friends

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