As soon as we stepped through the traditional moon gate, we seemed to breathe deeply and slow down, which I decided was a deliberate technique of the garden's unique "feng shui" design. Dunedin Chinese Garden is well known for being one of the most authentic scholar's gardens outside China. It pays recognition to the Chinese settlers who arrived in Dunedin during the 1860s gold rush.
The garden features hand made wooden buildings, artisan made tiles and was actually pre-fabricated and constructed in Shanghai before being transported to its new location in New Zealand's South Island. The result feels like stepping back in time to ancient China and it is a peaceful place to spend the day.
We enjoyed a delicate pot of Oolong tea and hand made dumplings in the stunning teahouse overlooking the water. There is also a games room where visitors can learn to play traditional Chinese games such as Go, checkers or marble racing. The garden is a fun place to take children especially during school holidays when there are treasure hunts, dressing up corners and tai qi demonstrations.