10 Mar 2021

All you need to know to Grow – festival info and details


The gates open to the inaugural Grow Ōtautahi festival on Friday morning and we can’t wait to welcome the people of Christchurch to a garden festival with a difference!

With just two sleeps to go, we’re excited and expecting a huge turnout over the three days. Grow is a FREE festival for the people of Christchurch – so you can come back as many times as you want to check out everything that’s on offer. You’ll find garden experts, top chefs, environmental champions, schools, scientists and communities sharing their love of growing in their own unique way. Here’s everything you need to know to Grow in 2021!

Where will I find Grow?

It’s FREE to attend Grow Ōtautahi. The festival is held over three days, Friday to Sunday, 12-14 March, from 9am to 5pm in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. The festival is located outside the Ilex café – with two entrances, one at the south end of the Ilex complex for those walking in from Rolleston Avenue, and one just around from the pedestrian bridge between the Hagley Park carpark and the gardens.

How do I get there?

We’re expecting plenty of visitors over the three days, so the best idea is to leave the car at home if you can. You’ll see the signs at entrances to the gardens which will point you to the festival – or just follow the people!

  • Bus – you can take a bus and walk the short distance to the festival, bike or scooter. Metro Bus #17 stops on Rolleston Avenue, or it’s a short walk from the Bus Exchange to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.
  • Bike or scooter – there are bike stands outside entrances to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and scooters also need to be left at the gates.
  • Parking – limited on- and off-street carparking is available in usual locations around Rolleston Avenue, and some carparking will be available in the Hagley Park/Botanic Gardens car park. A one-way system will be set up and operated by traffic management staff through this car park, leading in from the Armagh Street Bridge, and out onto Riccarton Avenue.

What can I do at Grow?

There are so many options! Take a look at the programme on the website before you go – www.growotautahi.org.nz – to see when all the various workshops, talks and activities are being held.

  • Horticultural Futures Hub – Engage in robust discussion, learn about new technologies, listen to experts, and discover innovative solutions that will ensure a quality lifestyle for future generations.
  • Terra Viva Workshop Marquee - Learn new techniques by watching demonstrations or participating in hands-on sessions delivered by industry experts, join a conversation and get involved.
  • Rātā Foundation School Gardens – Be inspired by the minds of the future, explore gardens designed by local primary school students showcasing their communities and telling stories about the environment and sustainability.
  • Readylawn Landscape Lane – Wander around a variety of landscape exhibits to learn about products and services to enhance your outdoor living spaces.
  • Display Gardens – Learn how to integrate plants into any environment, understand what makes plants thrive and how to get the best growing results at home.
  • Botanical Marquee – Visit local horticultural clubs and associations to learn about opportunities to connect with like-minded people.
  • MacRae Landscape Design Garden Kitchen – Enjoy cooking demonstrations, taste culinary creations and learn about ways to increase food resilience within our communities.
  • Exhibition Gardens – See horticultural creativity at its best, stimulate ideas and feel motivated by the work of landscape design experts in these showcase gardens.
  • Home and Lifestyle – Connect with local businesses selling products and services related to gardening, landscaping, outdoor living, horticulture and food.
  • Treetech Kids’ Zone – Entertain the tamariki with fun activities, competitions and displays specifically targeted at youth. From tree-climbing and sandpit digs to colourful workshops and performances.

What food is available?

Grow is a real treat for the tastebuds, and your tastebuds will be tingling after watching our celebrity chefs in the Garden Kitchen. Onsite, you’ll be able to purchase food and drink from three coffee outlets, at the Ilex Café, from a vegetarian snack station, a BBQ station and water will be available at free water stations.

Can I bring my own food and drink?

While there are plenty of food options on-site, we welcome families who want to pack a picnic and bring it to Grow. Under standard rules, no alcohol, smoking, vaping or dogs are allowed on site.

What is Grow doing to address Covid-19 guidelines?

Grow is very responsive to Covid-19 guidelines and the health and safety of our visitors is our priority. The event is in the open and there will be plenty of space for people. QR Codes will be posted at entrances and hand sanitiser available at entrances, food and beverage outlets, information marquee and toilets.