Palmerston North: The City of Roses (Dugald Mackenzie Rose Garden)

With a population just over 80K and covering an area of 336 square kilometers, my gorgeous little hometown of Palmerston North, New Zealand can be considered pretty tiny by global comparisons.

However, this little city has earned itself a number of titles. It is known as the ‘Knowledge City’ of New Zealand, given the number of highly reputable educational institutions it houses for its size (the biggest, and oldest campus being Massey University from where I proudly earned my three tertiary degrees in Marketing).

Palmerston North is also known as the ‘City of Roses’ owing to its very well-loved Dugald Mackenzie Rose Garden.

Palmerston-North-Rose garden

The Dugald Mackenzie Rose Garden takes up a complete section of Palmerston North’s Victoria Esplanade. Established in 1968, this rose garden boasts of showcasing over 5,000 varieties of roses.

It is named after Dugald MacKenzie, who was the Superintendent of Parks and Reserves from 1946 to 1966.

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In 2003, the Dugald Mackenzie Rose Garden received the Garden of Excellence award from the World Federation of Rose Societies.

The Dugald Mackenzie Rose Garden houses the New Zealand Rose Society headquarters. My father was a very active member of this club, and owes many of his rose-gardening techniques to the wonderful friendships he formed as a member of this group.


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Roses in my father’s garden


The Dugald Mackenzie Rose Garden has been the venue for many weddings and photo-shoots.

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The Dugald Mackenzie Rose Garden is open to the public, and entry is free of charge. The garden is in full bloom this month. As summer falls from December to March in New Zealand, this is the best time to see the bloom.

palmerston north rose garden Dugald Mackenzie Rose Garden