Without a doubt, Hagley Park is the greenest, most relaxing, yet also most happening 1 sq. mile in Christchurch. On the relaxing side, this central park offers dozens of opportunities for leisurely moments in the city. Paddle the waters of the Avon River which borders the park on one side, or spend an hour sniffing through the botanical gardens which are completely surrounded by the park. Lay a blanket on the expanse of grass and enjoy a midsummer picnic, or photograph the wildflowers which famously bloom as the park comes alive in the spring.
For as mellow as Hagley Park can be, however, it can rapidly change into a pulsing gathering place during one of the numerous Christchurch festivals. At large events such as the World Buskers Festival or the Great Kiwi Beer Festival, tens of thousands of Christchurch locals can descend on the spacious grounds. There are usually fireworks on New Year’s Eve which provide a glittering display in the park, and sunny weekends during the summer months usher throngs of people outdoors. Summer evenings also feature free performances, and visitors to Christchurch can enjoy theater and live music depending upon the schedule of events. Aside from the Botanical Gardens and the grounds themselves there is also a popular tennis center, and the park is within walking distance of the Canterbury Museum and popular city center sights.