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.

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Friends Photo Competition Winners 2021

See the list of winners of the Friends Photo Competition here.

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.

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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 edibles plants.

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Contact the Friends

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