THE Chinese Friendship Garden at Queens Park, in Invercargill, is finally open to the public.
The project began more than three years ago as part of Invercargill’s sister city relationship with Suqian in China.
There were several setbacks experienced including a considerable downsizing of the project due to an increase in costs.
Last year, councillors decided to go ahead but revised the plans, ensuring the garden would be completed within the original $600,000 budget.
Since forming sister city ties in November 2013, Invercargill and Suqian City of Jiangsu province had interacted and developed in the fields of education, sports, culture and trade.
From this relationship, the two cities built and developed gardens symbolising mutual friendship and co-operation.
As part of the exchange, Suqian City provided the initial design plans and gifted Invercargill the Friendship Bronze Cauldron the centrepiece of the gardens.
In exchange, Invercargill provided its own design for the Invercargill Garden in the Santai Mountain National Forest Park, as well as the gift of ventifacts unique stones sculpted and polished by long-term exposure to wind-driven sand.
Due to Covid-19, a delegation from Suqian was unable to be part of the opening. Despite this, Invercargill residents have been enjoying the new attraction.