New Zealand Gardens: North Island’s Finest

New Zealand is blessed with many beautiful gardens that are open to the public. Here’s some of the the best New Zealand gardens you should consider visiting on your next trip to the North Island.

New Zealand Gardens – North Island’s Finest

Whangarei Quarry Gardens

Whangarei Quarry Gardens describes itself as a subtropical oasis created by volunteers in the remnants of a former quarry in Northland, New Zealand. Making the best of the sheltered quarry site and rainfall figures in excess of 1500mm a year, a wealth of native and exotic subtropical plants have been nurtured to create a stunning display that really is a labour of love. Highlights of the Quarry Gardens include a sensory garden, camellias, bromeliads and, perhaps ironically given the climate, an arid garden.

New Zealand Gardens: Whangarei Quarry Gardens
Whangarei Quarry Garden: Photo Husky22 / CC BY-SA 3.0

Hackfalls Arboretum

One of the finest New Zealand gardens is Hackfalls Arboretum. This incredible collection of over three thousand different species of trees includes oaks, magnolias, cherries, maples and much more. Occupying a site of about four hectares, this, the former home of Lady Anne Berry, overlooks Lake Kaikiore near Gisborne. There are four walks designed to showcase these New Zealand gardens: the Lake walk, Ridge walk, Karangata walk and Bush walk.

New Zealand Gardens: Hackfalls Arboretum Gisborne
Hackfalls Arboretum, Gisborne: Photo Wilma Verburg / CC BY-SA 2.5 nl

Hamilton Gardens

Hamilton Gardens in Waikato brings the world to this small corner of New Zealand. Visitors to Hamilton Gardens can travel from the Sung Dynasty Chinese Scholar’s Garden to the Indian Char Bagh Garden by way of the Italian Renaissance Garden and the elegant Japanese Garden. In all there are over twenty to explore, each created with historical accuracy to make this as much a museum as anything else. Daily guided tours are offered to help you get the most out of your visit to these beautiful New Zealand gardens.

New Zealand Gardens: Hamilton Garden's Japanese Garden
Hamilton Garden’s Japanese Garden

Eden Garden

Auckland’s Eden Garden is another ex-quarry turned beauty spot. Once a volcanic cone and then a source of building materials for the early settlers over a century ago, these New Zealand gardens now boasts the country’s largest collection of camellias as well as a comprehensive range of rhododendrons and azaleas, vibrant hibiscus and pretty bromeliads. A stroll through the 5.5 acre Eden Garden site reveals waterfalls, rock formations and of course, stunning harbour and city views.

New Zealand Gardens: Eden Gardens Waterfall Auckland
Eden Gardens Waterfall, Auckland

The Garden at Caccia Birch House

Located at Palmerston North, this historic home features a delightful sunken rose garden overlooking the Hokowhitu Lagoon, once part of the Manawatu River. Jacob Nannestad, a saw miller from Norway, built the house in 1895 for his family, though the place takes its name from the widow who gifted her property to the Crown for the war effort following the death of her husband. The New Zealand gardens at Cacchia Birch House is a treat year-round, but a special mention should be made for September, when the magnolias are at their best and for October, when the hundred year old wisteria comes into flower.

New Zealand Gardens: Caccia Birch House Palmerston North
Caccia Birch House, Palmerston North: Photo Michal KlajbanCC BY-SA 4.0

About JuliaHammond


Julia Hammond is a Geography teacher turned travel writer with a passion for places. Winning Mail Travel's Deep South competition was the catalyst to write for a diverse range of publications including Bradt's Bus Pass Britain Rides Again. She’s written Kindle guides to Cape Town, Peru and London for Unanchor and advice on Savannah for Wanderlust. When not travelling, she can be found at home in Essex planning her next trip, her two golden retrievers curled up at her feet.

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