Ayrlies Garden and Wetlands

New Zealand

Situated in the rolling country of east Auckland, Ayrlies is one of New Zealand’s best known gardens. Characterised by sweeping lawns, mature trees, and detailed drifts of plantings alongside waterways, softly woven into a tapestry of great beauty and tranquility. A strong but sensitive use of colour is an Ayrlies hallmark, best seen in the lurid border where hot vibrant colours are used in bravado display and in other areas where old roses, clematis and perennials are combined in a romantic profusion. It is a garden filled with moments of drama and passion with lush, sub-tropical plants.


This large country Garden now covers 6 hectares and is linked to the sea by the Wetlands. For near six decades, Beverley McConnell has created and tended the garden from a blank clay canvas of farmland, in a style that is quintessentially New Zealand. It includes many large trees – liquidambar, swamp cypress, pin oak and redwoods – which have grown rapidly in the warm wet climate. Each area has its own emphasis but merges easily into the next, always preserving the harmony of the whole. Careful arboriculture preserves view lines to the Hauraki Gulf and within the garden. Colour is most vigorous during November with the wildest array of blooms in the roses and other spring-flowering plants. An abundance of blossom provides homes to bees, insects and pollinators that proliferate in harmful-spray-free Ayrlies.

Beverley’s extraordinary vision saw the creation of 14 hectares of wetlands in 2001 on land that was originally a salt marsh. Only New Zealand native trees and plants including giant grasses line the boardwalk, bridges and lake that provide an abundant refuge for wildlife. The ecologically rich environment combined with the foreshore has become home to an outstanding count of over 82 species of native and visiting wildlife, including the NZ dotterel and dabchick as well as the elusive spotted crake. The wetlands have been acknowledged as significant and culturally important. James Brown, chair of Ngai Tai ki Tamaki, recently told Bev, ‘Your work is the work of chiefs and benefits us all. In 1000 years, Ngai Tai ki Tamaki will remember Bev McConnell for her garden and forest, which I am sure will still be casting her shadow across Turanga.’

Ayrlies Garden and Wetlands
125 Potts Road
Auckland 2571

Monday to Friday 9:00am – 4:00pm.
Saturday by appointment.
Closed Sunday and public holidays.
Admission $20.00 per visitor

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