Gardens & Waterfalls

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Waitangi Treaty Grounds Garden

© Waitangi Treaty Grounds

Enjoy the added appeal of the subtropical climate, which shapes the colourful medley of flora and fauna that flourishes in Northland. The variety of garden locations will amaze you.

Gardens of Northland

Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Bay of Islands
A New Zealand Garden's Trust "Garden of National Significance". Set in an extensive park-like reserve, the garden is home to a rose that is reputedly the first rose to be planted in New Zealand. An English Oak, Camphor Laurel, figs, totaras and Norfolk Island pine, planted around 1836 grow beside indigenous species, including cabbage trees and pohutukawa. Two large rose-red Camellia trees, Middlemist Red and C.japonica, planted in 1833, grow alongside the native bush track to the Treaty House.

For all 10 Northland Gardens listed with the New Zealand Garden Trust click here

Wharepuke Subtropical Gardens
Wharepuke Subtropical Gardens

Wharepuke Subtropical Gardens, Kerikeri

Wharepuke, meaning “house on the hill” is a subtropical and dry climate garden featuring various unusual and exotic plants from around the world. Quite a few species are represented by only one plant and in one case maybe the only plant in New Zealand. There is also a dry climate sunken garden and a fern area and bromeliad garden. There is a restaurant and accommodation on site.

The Quarry Gardens, Whangarei
All the great gardens or landscapes of the world have signatures - things that create strong impressions and evoke lasting memories. Theirs are: rock, water & subtropical plants. The overall planting theme of the Whangarei Quarry Gardens is subtropical. This includes not only plants that originate from land between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer, or close thereby, but also those which have a subtropical appearance.

Botanica Whangarei - The Filmy Fernhouse
Admission to Botanica Whangarei is totally free and the complex is wheelchair accessible. Located in First Avenue and open daily from 10am to 4pm parking is available outside or in the Forum North carpark, through Cafler Park,over the footbridge Cafler Park is also the home of the Whangarei Art Museum, Scented Garden, and Rose Gardens Go green in the heart of the city. Hundreds of species of ferns and colourful flora are at your fingertips at the Filmy Fernhouse, with amazing displays and subtropical plantings amongst ponds and water features.

Pawarenga, The Golden Staircase - Whangape Harbour
Walk the Golden Staircase - brilliant in spring with the beautiful kowhai flowering. The Golden Stairs walkway starts just past Pawarenga (eastern shores of the entrance to Whangape Harbour). You can also access the track from Mitimiti, along the beach. The track is easy and heads along the ridge, with beautiful views inland and over the slopes of the Warawara forest. Bring your camera, particularly in spring with all the beautiful Kowhai flowering.

The Discoverers' Garden Kerikeri
Head out for a walk around the beautiful Discoverers’ Garden, with more than 250 plants, shrubs, trees and ferns, it's filled with local history and some rare plants.
Funded by the Society for the Preservation of the Kerikeri Stone Store Area, the garden was part of the millenium project in Kerikeri and neighbours Rewa’s Village. Rewa's Village is an "entry by donation" Maori Pa replica.


Whangarei Falls
Whangarei Falls

Whangarei Falls - NZ's most photogenic waterfall.

Kauri forest, falls and fresh air – The AH Reed Memorial Kauri Park is only a 15 minute drive from Whangarei central. Wander the Canopy Track with its walkway leading over the Wai Koromiko Stream for a great bird’s eye view of the kauri forest. The Elizabeth Track (from the lower carpark) will lead to great 23.8m Whangarei Falls (which hugs the Hatea River along the way). It’s an easy walk, although there is a steepish climb near the top. If you want to drive there, head to Ngunguru Rd, Tikipunga.

Wharekohe - Wairua Falls
Check the views of the Wairua Falls from a simple lookout at the carpark, kayak in the Wairua River or head out for a spot of trout fishing. Along Wairua Falls Road you'll find a circular carpark where you can park by the fence for views "from the top" or, follow the bush track down to the base of the falls for a whole new perspective.

However, if you head down the next left (Titoki Road) you'll come across the Power Station grounds where you can park your car and head on foot down the driveway. From here you can check out the riverside power station, and see the kayakers at play in the white waters. If you are a keen kayaker, check this Whitewater NZ link as it's full of first-hand knowledge on this "technical rockgarden" playground. In no way should you attempt to jump from the falls into the water below. The water is shallow, with hidden rocks.

Waiotemarama Waterfall – Kauri Forest, Walking Tracks Hokianga
Stretch your legs, see a few kauri along the way, and head to the beautiful Waiotemarama Waterfall. Leaving from the entrance (which begin next door to the Labyrinth Maze) head down the Waiotemarama Waterfall Track, taking approx 30 minutes. You’ll pass through beautiful forests and head up to the falls. It’s an easy walk.

Haruru Falls Waitangi – Kayaking, Walking Tracks
Pack a picnic and head for the Haruru Falls. We are talking about 6km and 2 hours of walking one way but there are return options. The track starts from the opposite side of the Treaty Grounds, so leave your car there. You’ll follow the edge of the golf course (watch for birdies) then along the river through native bush. You’ll get to walk through a mangrove forest by way of boardwalk and explore the mud crabs at low tide. Past the winding river, you will hear the Haruru Falls before you see them. It’s worth the walk.

Kayaking to Haruru Falls, Bay of Islands
Kayaking to Haruru Falls, Bay of Islands

Kerikeri Rainbow Falls – Wharepoke Falls
Take an easy 10 minute walk to these beautiful waterfalls: the Rainbow Falls and Wharepoke Falls. Visit the falls and take a dip in the swimming hole. Heaps of birdlife with tui and fantails all along the path. It’s a leisurely walk along the river bank that leads to you viewing platforms of the Rainbow Falls. There’s parking and picnic areas on the Rainbow Falls Road end, and also on the northern side of the bridge over the Kerikeri River. Don’t forget to bring your camera, and swimming togs for a dip in the swimming hole (and some bread for the ducks in the river, along the way). If you are starting from the Kerikeri Bridge, it will take about 2 hours return walk to the Rainbow Falls.