You'll need to set aside a few hours to properly explore the large expanse of verdant calm in the middle of the city that is Queens Park. The expansive 80-hectare park is home to thriving indoor and outdoor gardens, tree-lined walkways, an aviary and animal enclosures as well as an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts and croquet and bowling clubs. If you're keen for a bit of culture, check out the statues dotted throughout the park, including the Feldwick Gates, the Thomson statuary in the playground and the Band Rotunda.
There is also the pyramid-shaped Southland Museum and Art Gallery, located near the Feldwick Gates. Here, you'll find a Maori Gallery, a Tuatarium — where you can get up close and personal with the native reptile — and an exhibition on the sub-Antarctic Islands. While the museum is currently closed due to earthquake risks, you can still spot the tuatara from the outside of the building.
Really, it's less park, more nature-plenty wonderland — the perfect place to relax and clear your head before getting amongst it again.