Potter Children's Garden at Auckland Botanic Gardens

Potter Children's Garden

Swelter in the desert or explore the misty rainforest

Welcome to a special garden full of secrets and surprises!

Get lost in Maui’s magical maze, get to know Keri the kereru, swelter in the desert, explore the misty rainforest – find out some great facts about plants on the way. Try our fun activity sheets to help you explore!

Learn how we are inter-connected as humans, plants, animals and insects on Earth. See this demonstrated in the relationship between New Zealand’s native wood pigeon – the kereru - and the native püriri tree. Dig for grubs and discover how a healthy soil is alive with both big and little organisms. Explore secret paths and experience at close-hand flowers, fruit and bird life.

Plants have amazing ways of adapting to different and difficult environments all over the world. Planted in a replica desert, a jungle, a meadow and a bog are weird and wonderful plants with quirky adaptations. Learn how cacti survive in dry deserts, how some plants eat insects and more!

In this garden we also demonstrate ways of collecting rain-water, growing living green roofs and treatment of stormwater – see the potential benefits of incorporating these sustainable solutions into your home garden or school.

School groups can provide their own self-guided programme or follow the curriculum based programme about the kereru and the püriri tree's relationship. At the centre of the garden is the education centre and model edible garden where school groups can have hands-on garden experience. Find out more about organising a school trip at the Auckland Botanic Gardens.


In the Potter Children’s Garden we deliver school programmes aligned to the objectives of the NZ curriculum. These programmes focus on environmental education; plants, habitats and the relationships between plants and animals. Interactive interpretation enables passive learning opportunities about plants, their relationship to other organisms and importance to life.

The Potter Children's Garden supports the Auckland Botanic Gardens aim to inspire and inform schools and families by demonstrating the benefits of gardens and sustainability.

The Garden was made possible by funding from the Frederick Potter Trust and was officially opened by HRH the Prince of Wales in March 2005.

Natives in a nutshell LTE programme 2015

Natives in a nutshell LTE programme 2015

Gardening Tips for planting for children
  • Gardens are a great way to connect kids with science, plants and the natural environment
  • Try and appeal to all the senses – choose plants for colour, form, scent, texture and taste (if it’s an edible garden!)
  • Fruits trees are a great way to engage kids - they love to touch and taste
  • Use swan plants to attract monarch butterflies and observe the life cycles of insects and the importance of plants to biodiversity. Remind kids the sap of swan plants is poisonous.
Exotic habitats school holiday programme Auckland Botanic Gardens

Exotic habitats school holiday programme


Auckland Botanic Gardens are trialling and researching many different stormwater treatment systems, living roofs and plants in this garden.

Succulent Living roof  (2).JPG

Living roof


Tarmac paths are accessible in wheelchairs or scooters.

Boardwalks closed to wheelchairs and scooters.