If you want to see why Christchurch is the "garden city," then the Botanic Gardens are a must-visit. You can arrive as early as 7 AM to experience this magnificent collection of flora from New Zealand and elsewhere - and best of all, you are sure to notice quickly that admission is free! Did you know that the Botanic Gardens were launched in 1863 with the simple planting of just one English Oak Tree? Today, you can see that the Botanic Gardens are more than just trees - the Botanic Gardens consist of 21 hectares boasting trails, art, plants, a cafe, and conservatories. Before your visit, double check that the facilities you want to visit are open, as in the wake of the earthquake, several buildings have been temporarily closed for earthquake strengthening work.