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Te Awamutu Rose Garden & War Memorial park attractions and things to do

  • 3 minutes

Waikato, North Island

Te Awamutu Rose Gardens and Te Awamutu War Memorial Park are outstanding public spaces in New Zealand. Beautiful roses with the background of the Mangahoi stream and mature trees add to the pretty setting. For rose lovers, families and visitors Te Awamutu public gardens are a treat and definitely should be popped onto your list of things to do in Te Awamutu.

If you are travelling from Auckland to Te Awamutu take time (detour off State Highway 1) and visit Putaruru Blue Springs and Lake Rotopiko, an outstanding example of a Waikato Peat Lake and time before cows and sheep dotted the landscape.


Both Te Awamutu Rose Garden and the War Memorial Park are superb family friendly spots where kids can play, jump, slide and test their budding skills on a miniature skateboard park and contemporary play equipment.

Te Awamutu War Memorial Park fountain and ducks, Waikato, NZ
Te Awamutu War Memorial Park, Waikato, NZ

Te Awamutu war memorial park

Te Awamutu War Memorial Park is a great place for kids to feed ducks their stash of frozen peas and explore the winding paths among the mature trees and ponds. The War Memorial Park’s homage to the wars is framed by a pergola festooned with climbing roses. The sunken garden memorial to the loss of life during times of conflict is shaped in a cross and lined with ornamental stone walls.

There is a playground, picnic tables and public toilets. The recently approved upgrade to the Te Awamutu War Memorial Park will enhance water quality (decidedly murky), link traditional kai (food) gathering to the present with riparian plantings and exposure of the springs that flowed into the Mangohoe and Msngapiko streams. The park is located at the confluence of the two streams, the Mangaohoi and the Mangapiko. The area, with its natural springs added to the rich food resources for pre-European Maori settlement.

Te Awamutu War Memorial Park, seats, restful places, Waikato, New Zealand
Te Awamutu War Memorial Park, Waikato, NZ

Te Awamutu War Memorial Park location

Main entrance, Mutu Street.

Te Awamutu Rose Garden in spring, Waikato, New Zealand
Te Awamutu Rose Garden in spring, Waikato, NZ

Te Awamutu Rose Garden

Opened in 1969, the Te Awamutu rose garden contains over 50 varieties planted in classic curved formal beds and features over 2500 plants. Flowering begins in November and continues until May. Rotary (community-based organisation) has built a viewing platform which is a great way to get an overview of the rose gardens.

Pioneer walk, linking the two gardens Te Awamutu War Memorial Park and Te Awamutu Rose Garden borders the Mangahoi stream. Pioneer walk is an easy stroll between two outstanding public gardens. The walk begins at Sculpture Park on Albert Park Drive. The wide firm path meanders through the Rose Garden and/or stream weaving through to War Memorial Park. From there you can continue past the netball courts to Eileen Montefiore Reserve on Racecourse Road.

The walk is between 1.5 km – 2 km with plenty of seating. Dogs are allowed on a leash.

The Te Awamutu Rose Garden fountain was designed by Fred Graham. The sculpture depicts a flight of birds landing on wetlands through raupo stalks and mist.

Te Awamutu rose garden walk, Waikato, New Zealand
Te Awamutu rose garden walk, Waikato, NZ

During the Waikato Wars of 1864, the Te Awamutu grounds was the site of a military constabulary. The adjacent St Johns Church (1840’s) and cementery has been a silent witness to the changes wrought in the town.

Te Awamutu Rose Garden water feature opposite main entrance on Gorst Avenue, Waikato, NZ
Te Awamutu Rose Garden water feature opposite main entrance on Gorst Avenue, Waikato, NZ

“The rose gardens were established in 1969, as a Jaycee project in conjunction with numerous community groups. They were officially opened by the Governor General Sir Arthur Porritt, and were featured as part of the 1971 Inaugural World Rose Convention held in Hamilton.

An 8-page supplement was published in the Te Awamutu Courier on 3rd November 1969, detailing the development and future plans for the rose gardens. Called “The Te Awamutu Rose Garden Gazette”, it’s an interesting insight into life in Te Awamutu at the end of the 1960s.: source Te Awamutu Courier.

Te Awamutu Childrens Playground

The playground is one of the best in the country. The superb use of the sloping grounds has created a fun sliding tunnel. There are modern climbing, jumping and skipping areas for children with brightly coloured markers creating safe places for kids to play. The miniature skate park is not designed for professional skaters rather for kids learning to explore what its like to ride over controlled bumps and down slopes.

To learn more about Te Awamutu roses, check out Te Awamutu Rose Society. The rose gardens were opened in 1971.

  • The gardens are administered by the Waipa District Council in partnership with the Te Awamutu Rose Trust.
Children's playground Te Awamutu, Waikato, NZ
Children's playground Te Awamutu, Waikato, NZ

Te Awamutu Rose Garden location

Gorst Street opposite the visitor centre

Te Awamutu is an ideal location for an extended stay in the Waikato. Check out the Te Awamutu distances  from Cambridge, Hamilton, Waitomo Caves, Otorohanga and Piopio and get started with building your central North Island itinerary.



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