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Gardens & Parks

Waipahihi Botanical Gardens – Places to Visit in Taupo

Taupo, North Island

Waipahihi Botanical Garden is a glorious forest in the making. One of New Zealand’s lesser known public gardens is the creation of dedicated local volunteers. Deciduous exotic maples mingle with flourishing native trees and plants. There are now well over 2,000 rhododendrons, camellias and azalea walking paths in the developing native forest, with other feature plantings. In autumn the Waipahihi Botanical Garden hosts an annual Music Day – usually on the Sunday after the Iron Man competition. It’s a wonderful showcase of local music.

The best autumn displays for this mid North Island garden is early May.

Autumn is in full force during May, and you will see spectacular leaf colours in the gardens, including a variety of maples and several Gingko trees, just south of the first carpark.

Waipahihi Botanic Garden one way scenic drive, Taupo North Island NZ
Waipahihi Botanic Garden one way scenic drive

Extraordinary, you can drive (very slowly and carefully along a perimeter one way road making this a great garden to visit for those who are mobility impaired. And don’t forget to find the donation box.


Check out a fun family thing to do at the Waipahihi Botanical Gardens.




Taupo rock at Waipahihi Botanic Garden @unacordobesaviajera

When you are walking about the Gardens, you will almost certainly see some painted rocks on tree stumps or in hidey holes (hopefully not on the lawns!). They have a wide range of images and messages painted on them. The idea is to find them (a great family activity), take a photo of finder and rock, and post it on the Taupō Rocks Facebook page. Then ‘hide’ it somewhere else for someone else to find. 

Some of these rocks are small masterpieces. They seem to end up all over NZ, some are even found overseas. The Taupō Rocks group of artists and finders holds occasional BBQ and rock painting meetings in the Gardens during summer. Follow them on Facebook for feel-good stories.

Make sure if you are in Taupo to check out Recent Events – Waipahihi Botanical Gardens Taupo for music, festivals and more. 

The gardens are open every day to dusk. Check beforehand if not sure of times to avoid disappointment. 

Nearby is the Taupo deBretts spa with its hot pools and on the Napier Taupo highway is the Opepe Reserve, a fascinating glimpse into the changing natural landscape of the Taupo region.

Waipahihi Botanic Garden native regenerating forest views, Taupo North Island NZ
Waipahihi Botanic Garden native regenerating forest views



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