Places to go, things to do
Like no other, a ridiculously perfect growing climate, fertile soils, Hawke’s Bay is the place for beautiful gardens and parks. For lovers of cultivated and natural places check out Walks North Hawke’s Bay & Walks Central Hawke’s Bay to combine with your garden visits. The fruit bowl of New Zealand, Hawke’s Bay has numerous roadside stalls, fields of produce, orchards and vineyards encouraging visitors to pop in for freshly picked seasonal treats. As you explore the district’s gardens and parks, detour down the side roads and see what’s there.
Best time to visit Hawke’s Bay Gardens and Parks
Spring, mid-August – January. Summer with its dry warm weather is not the gardener’s best friend. Winter with its temperate climate delivers quiet surprises when the deciduous trees reveal ground loving beauties.
After autumn foliage colour? Visit Trelinnone Garden Adore roses? Then Hawke’s Bay delivers in both public and private gardens and parks. Enjoy garden festivals? Hawkes with its fertile plains and hills is an ideal climate for outstanding gardens.
Garden festivals in Hawke’s Bay
- Tikokino Districts Garden Tour
- Central Hawke’s Bay Garden Trail is a part of Spring Fling, September and October
- Hawke’s Bay Home & Garden Show
- Foodscapes Open Garden Trail Waipawa
Hawke’s Bay gardens top sights
- Roses in formal public gardens and parks, in private gardens
- Trelinnone Arboretum and Garden is a glorious respite on the Napier / Taupo highway
- English style bedding style nestled among art deco beauties on the Marine Parade
- Gardens, parks, orchards and vineyards conjuring up green spaces and sense of countryside throughout Hawke’s Bay
- Hawke’s Bay annual garden festivals with a chance to peek into beautiful private lush places full of brimming blooms
- Tikokino garden festival with its lush peonies, herbaceous borders and mature trees to linger
- Weleda’s biodynamic garden principles and the adjoining factory shop
CENTENNIAL GARDEN & WATERFALL (NAPIER)
A former quarry and place of hard physical labour for prisoners is now a shaded green space in Napier. Water is a defining feature with several pools and a cascade of water from the cliff top 40 metres. The spray encourages lush growth on the rock face and, at night, is lit with green illumination. It is a romantic place to linger. A public garden, free entry.
KENNEDY PARK ROSE GARDEN (NAPIER)
Find a suburban oasis of roses initially planted in 1951 and now holding a rose collection of over 5000 roses. There are over 500 named rose variants and a magnificent 90 m climbing rose display. The rose display is at its best in November. A public garden, free entry.
MARINE PARADE GARDENS (NAPIER)
Find a great example of an English style promenade garden on the waterfront. The gardens are a natural division between the art deco Soundshell Pavilion, the beach and the city. The sculpture Pania of the Reef is located in the garden. A public garden, free entry.
SUNKEN GARDENS (NAPIER)
Hidden in plain sight from the pavement are the sunken gardens on the Napier waterfront. The gardens were built in the 1960’s and continue to reflect the bedding style of this period. In April 1967 a start was made on excavating the 30,000 cubic yard hole for the Sunken Gardens. Many interesting finds were made in the excavated earthquake rubble with reminders of long gone cafes, hotels and manufacturers, along with various objects and fittings. A public garden, free entry.
NAPIER BOTANICAL GARDENS (NAPIER)
Napier’s Botanical Gardens are an 18 acre botanical serenity. The historic gardens tell the story of the settlement of Napier and the desire for public green spaces. There is an aviary, duck pond and walking tracks through mature trees, exotic and native. The gardens are adjacent to the former historic Napier Cemetery. A public garden, free entry.
CLIVE SQUARE (NAPIER)
English style manicured lawns, white picket fences and seating looking inwards towards a substantial band rotunda. The mature boundary trees include some interesting and unusual trees and plants: Prickly Cycads, Moreton Bay Fig, Petticoat Palms, and Bottle Palms just to name a few. Napier city pets are the large goldfish lazily swimming in the large pond filled with floating lilies. Adjacent to Clive Square is Memorial Square (World War I). A public garden, free entry.
The Centennial Carillion plays every half hour from 11:30am-2pm.
CORNWALL PARK (HASTINGS)
Discover a park with a cricket pitch, formal rose garden with duck pond, an aviary and a hothouse filled with tropical plants. The large playground is shaded with mature trees creating shady spots for picnics or watching kids jump in and out of the splash pad. The park is home to a number of festivals. A public garden, free entry.
- Christmas in the park
- Summer in the park
- Summer concerts
- International Cultures Day
- The lighting of the Osmanthus Gardens is an annual event held in March celebrating the sister city link between Hastings and Guilian, China
Cornwall Park also features the Osmanthus Garden, which is a Chinese-styled garden created in acknowledgement of Hastings’ sister-city relationship with Guilin in China.
FRIMLEY PARK ROSE GARDEN (HASTINGS)
Wander among another scented rose garden with mature tree specimens creating restful places. There are plenty of park benches to soak up the atmosphere. The garden has the outstanding Frimley playground and nearby Frimley Aquatic Centre. A public garden, free entry.
DUART HOUSE GARDENS (HAVELOCK NORTH)
Find a colonial masterpiece Duart House (1882) and the 3 acres of restored gardens. The Edwardian style gardens are a summer delight with roses, herbaceous borders and croquet pitch. The gardens are open to the public year round with Duart House open for viewing on the first Sunday of the month. A public garden, free entry.
KEIRUNGA GARDENS (HAVELOCK NORTH)
Discover over 17 hectares of parkland and gardens. There are large open spaces for a game of frisbee or cricket, a playground and formal garden. The KEIRUNGA GARDENS ARTS & CRAFTS SOCIETY, who are settled within the maintained gardens and courtyard and provide community facilities for arts and crafts in the Hastings District. There are several walkways with imaginative names, Crabapple walk and Arthur’s path encouraging visitors to explore a woodland of old oak trees. Keirunga Gardens also includes the Keirunga Park Railway; an 846 metre mini-train track that winds its way around the park through tunnels and across bridges. A public garden, free entry.
TANIWHA DAFFODILS (CENTRAL Hawke’s Bay)
Join the fun picking daffodils. Drifts of daffodils are inviting and the annual Taniwha Daffodil display (usually September) is a visitor highlight. The event marks the start of spring in Central Hawke’s Bay and visitors will be treated to many hundreds of Daffodil varieties in bloom in their 20 acre, park-like setting. Families, groups, visitors and garden enthusiasts join in the fun and pick daffodils, picnic and pick up a coffee and snack from the ‘Coffee Shed’.
GWAVAS GARDEN HOMESTEAD
A stalwart of the gardening scene in New Zealand Gwavas is home to an extensive range of temperate woody plants. Gwavas Garden was given a Distinguished with Merit award by the International Dendrology Society in 2009. Best described as a Cornish woodland garden, it was based on the original home in England of its first owner, Major George Gwavas Carlyon. The gardens are a wedding venue, accommodation provider in the historic homestead and open for private garden tours.
Just behind the homestead the 132- hectare lowland podocarp forest is a significant biodiversity landmark in Hawke’s Bay. The work in progress is to restore and enhance the indigenous flora and fauna of Puahanui Bush so all native plants and animals are present and flourishing.
WELEDA’S BIODYNAMIC GARDENS (HAVELOCK NORTH)
Delve into the ethos of a biodynamic garden where 50 medicinal plant species are cultivated in the Mediterranean climate of Havelock North, Hawke’s Bay. The New Zealand gardeners work the fields according to the principles of biodynamic farming. The harvesting is mostly done by hand, avoiding the use of heavy farm equipment, which keeps the soil light and airy. Weleda’s health and beauty products are grown and produced in more than 50 countries. See fields of lavender, calendula and echinacea at its Havelock North farm. Then the joy of visiting the farm shop for cosmetics and medicines at the shop. Tours are free by appointment.
TRELINNOE PARK GARDEN
Sheer grit created a treasure on the Napier-Taupo highway. The 12-hectare woodland garden with a diverse range of trees, shrubs, perennials and natives. The garden is cleverly designed for year round colour pops as you navigate your way around. Highlights include a tree-sized hydrangea, a thicket of deciduous Himalayan shrub Parrotiopsis jacquemontiana and its collection of magnolias, which is thought to be one of the largest in the country. Year round the garden is an outstanding showcase. Admission fees apply.
TIKOKINO GARDENS – Tikokino
The annual garden festival is based around six beauties, Trenrose Peony Garden & Gallery, Awatea Daffodils, Gwavas Garden, Awatea Country Garden, Springvale Garden & Sentry Hill Garden. Open during late spring and summer and by appointment. During the year there are occasional weekend events. Entrance fees apply.
ROUND POND GARDEN (HAVELOCK NORTH)
View what a pair of garden shears can create. The sculptured stunning gardens are an ode to topiary, hedging and shape. Formerly the very popular Wildflower Sculpture Exhibition was held in the gardens. Currently the gardens are being reimagined as outdoor art exhibition space, Check with Round Pond Garden details.
Weddings, high teas, accommodation in a historic homestead amidst 17 hectares of woodland and gardens. Oruawharo owners Dianne and Peter Harris, will introduce them to the history of their home, and afterwards visitors can wander and view the extensive gardens, and private collection of art and antiques.
Remember to check out the joinery workshop and the exquisite detail of woodwork without a nail in sight.
CHEOPS GARDEN (HASTINGS)
Notable rose grower has over 1000 varieties of heritage and modern roses, including McGredy roses in her feijoa orchard. The garden is on the must-go list for any upcoming garden tour. Check Cheops Garden for details.
BREMDALE COASTAL GARDENS (NUHAKA)
Bremdale has an atmosphere of old world charm – everywhere there is a perfume and surprises to enhance the beauty of the gardens. Creeper-covered archways flow into garden rooms featuring ponds, statues, rocks, pongas and Roger’s handmade rustic furniture and fences. Across the spacious lawns, a magnificent walnut tree offers shade and a haven for relaxation. Nearby is the outdoor Chapel where weddings can be held. While visiting the 2.5 acres of tranquility and charm, visitors can purchase crafts and organic products as well as herbal health remedies and consultation. Visit by appointment only.
TE MATA HOUSE
A heritage garden gem with Paul Bangay-designed grounds. With just a handful of Bangay gardens throughout New Zealand, visitors have a rare opportunity to observe the incredible detail that goes into this renowned Australian landscape designer’s work. You’ll spot Sally Holmes and Pierre de Ronsard roses alongside white wisteria and hydrangeas, a parterre with spring tulips, a citrus garden, vegetable patches, verdant lawns, water features and exquisite stonework.
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