Next is a highlight with a trip to the Whangarei Quarry Garden and Quail Cafe for lunch. Explore over 60 acres of cultivated gardens located within a former quarry. Magical and the icing on the cake, a well known cafe / restaurant for a leisurely lunch. Bookings are recommended for the Quail Cafe.
The site was a functioning quarry from 1940 to 1974. Concrete foundations are still visible and industrial remnants form part of the garden story as industrial repurposed decorative objects. The corroded steel fittings frame lush subtropical bromeliads. To turn a quarry into a spectacular garden is a feat of imagination and hard toil. The Gardens are set over 60 acres and feature a lake, waterfalls, picnic areas, forest walks, a variety of garden styles.
The Quarry Gardens describe the styles as…
Five Senses Garden
Built in 2003 with sponsorship from Whangarei Garden Discovery Inc, this garden stimulates our senses with a striking combination of plants and sculpture. A stroll through these raised beds invites us to Taste*, Smell, Look, Listen and Touch our way into the world of subtropical gardening.
A favourite spot for many volunteers, the Bromeliad Garden is a classic example of growing the right plant in the right place. Bromeliads generally like this semi-shaded, free-draining slope; as do shade-seeking visitors on a hot summer’s day.
Fragrant Camellia Collection
One of the jewels in the Gardens crown, the Fragrant Camellia Collection is built around the Camellia cultivars produced by two local plant breeders: Jim Finlay and Os Blumhardt. In 2001-2002, Jim Finlay donated 115 of his fragrant Camellias to the Gardens, 49 of which are not found in any other public garden in the world.
Our Arid Garden is located in one of the sunniest and driest parts of the Gardens, and is therefore ideally suited to the cultivation of cacti and succulents. Ground level temperatures frequently rise over 40 degrees C in summer, with the highest temperature recorded at 50 degrees C.
For those whose fitness levels find 60 acres daunting you have the opportunity to book a Golf Cart Tours. Book a one hour guided tour of the Gardens in an electric golf cart. Up to 5 guests can be accommodated in the golf cart for the 1 hour tour of the gardens. It is a perfect solution for visitors less able to manage the paths. Enjoy a tour of the entire Gardens, in comfort and with a guide taking you through the interesting history of the site. Forward bookings are essential for the guided tours. For more information about the Quarry Gardens click here, Whangarei Quarry Gardens.
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