The Auckland Domain Wintergarden

The Wintergarden is found in Auckland, New Zealand and was built in commemoration of the Auckland Industrial Agricultural and Mining Exhibition of 1913-14


It was designed in the early 1900s in the style of the famous English partnership of Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jeckyll – my favourite designers of the English County Garden style.


The building was opened on the 12 October 1921 for the benefit and pleasure of the public.

The two barrel-shaped Victorian glasshouses face out onto an open courtyard with a pond and mosaic fountain. Marble statues were added in the 1920s and 1930s and pergolas around the courtyard are covered in showy climbers.


One glasshouse is full of exotic flowers: gingers, orchids, palms, Heliconia and other rare plants. The other is for temperate climate plants such as the gorgeous blue delphiniums in the photos.


As usual my attention was drawn not only to the flora, but also the architecture of these buildings and in particular, the windows. Although the glasshouses need a little attention (well so would you after 100 years) the curved ends and decorative leaded windows are still beautiful.

DSCF9658The complex is completed by New Zealand ferns growing in a sunken scoria quarry to the rear.

This monthly challenge is hosted by Dawn from ‘The Day After’ who invites participants to post pictures of any windows that  they find curious, inviting, photogenic, or in some way tell a story. Visit her blog to see more windows and/or to join in with the challenge.

Published by


I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

63 thoughts on “The Auckland Domain Wintergarden”

  1. How far out of town was it Jude? If we ever revisited Aukland this would be on my sightseeing list.
    Love the glassed roof of the greenhouse – imagine getting up there to clean all those panes lol 🙂

    1. It’s very close to the city centre Cathy – we went there after lunch on the harbour and then carried on to the airport. It’s about 5 mins drive from downtown in the Grafton / Parnell area and in fact walkable from the centre.

  2. They say New Zealand was more English than England; and these lovely gardens do tend to make me believe that, Jude. 🙂
    You’ve never missed a chance to add material to your files that we will enjoy, and I commend you for it, my dear ! – THANK YOU.

    1. These glasshouses are certainly reminiscent of England M-R. Which is probably why I was happier to take photos of the buildings and not the plants. The fernery was very good for an English person to see though.

      1. NZ is one country I really do wish I had been to … As well as all the Scandinavian ones …

  3. In one of my ‘next’ lifes, I’m going to live in a greenhouse, in a yearround mild climate where there are no windstorms or tornadoes or floods and all the plants are above average😊 With a few pretty statues. And a couple of comfy chairs for gardening buddies.

  4. I grew up in NZ and have great memories of visiting the Wintergarden on childhood holidays in Auckland. I think it was a place my mother loved to go! Thanks for the memories! And I love that black & white shot in particular!

  5. Those blue delphiniums are striking splash of colour Jude. I have not been to the winter gardens since we lived in NZ so I think I must try to get there this time round.

    1. Both glass houses were full of flowers, but of course I see a lot of them here in our glass houses and you will see a lot of the tropical plants in your own garden! But it is a lovely place and the fernery at the back is wonderful too – so many different ferns. A great place to go on a wet day I would imagine and so close to the city centre.

  6. Well your windows here certainly tell a story! I love glass houses – proper, old fashioned ones, they are exotic in their own right. Your pics are glorious, Jude.

    1. I love the old ones too. I dream of having a Victorian greenhouse – the ones that lean against a wall, but the houses they belong to are out of my reach, unless they require a LOT of work!!

  7. Such a gorgeous spot Jude. I really like the last B&W but the prize winners are the two longer shots. Love the foreground color and interest.

    1. Thank you Sue. I thought the B&W would show of the design of the windows better without the colour of the plants distracting the eye. Foreground interest is always a good idea 🙂

  8. I agree, the architecture of these buildings is part of the attraction….. Like you, I was window (and door) obsessed in my past photographs, I have managed to diversify a bit now!!

    1. Haha, yes! I’m also over the door and window thing, but still find them hard to ignore if I spot an unusual one. I’m trying to branch into landscapes more. Time will tell if I am successful.

      1. We need to keep giving ourselves new challenges… Last year I started the street thing, and motion blur.. This year it’s black glass some of the time, monochrome some of the time… And, of course, using light to better effect… That’s for starters!! I’m just reading Jane Bown on portraits

Comments are closed.