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Saturday Afternoon

Whangarei Botanica Gardens

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Whangarei Quarry ferms and palms walkway Whangarei Quarry ferms and palms walkway

Whangarei Botanica Gardens are a lush green contrast to the Quarry Gardens with ferns and a Japanese Gardens on show. The horticultural complex includes a heated conservatory for tropical plants, a cactus house, an extensive fernery, a small Japanese style garden and a shade garden area. The origins of Botanica began in 1970 with the construction of the Snow Conservatory, the complex even has its own waterfall. The Conservatory is home to the Marge Maddren Fernery. The Fernery is renowned for one of New Zealand’s largest collections of native ferns found in New Zealand and its offshore islands. It has three shade houses and a linking tunnel, ponds and a small waterfall and courtyard area.

Whangarei Quarry succulents contrast with steel from former life

The central pond is home to three large eels which are fed every second or third day. Within the fernery is the Finn Bruce Filmy Fern House. This is a purpose-built adobe brick house that is home to a small collection of New Zealand native filmy ferns. The room is air-conditioned and is misted twice a day as the filmy ferns like cool damp conditions.

As with a number of major public gardens there is a cactus garden with a striking photographic montage of a desert landscape, providing the perfect foil for a fascinating collection of desert plants.

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