Waipahihi Botanical Gardens
Beautifully well presented Gardens filled with hidden gems and walking tracks.
Now this place you could definitely spend at least half a day exploring !! its huge !!
You can drive around a loop in the middle of the area (yellow track as seen on map in the photo), doing side walks along the way or you can park at the entrance and walk around.
Big thing to note is there is not a lot of parking that we found, if it is busy you might need to park on the street.
We drove around part of the garden exploring as we were limited on time. We parked up at a few spots to explore and check out the views.
We checked out the water reservoir and the view of Lake Taupo from the top of the gardens. We explores some of the many, many side tracks.
Then we headed back to the car park at the start of the gardens and went off to find the Kiwi Guardian Post.
The Guardian post was hidden through some windy maze like areas of bush haha it was a lot of fun to hunt down and find but did not take us to long.
After finding the post we made our way back to the car park checking out some of the cool plants and flowers along the way.
There is such a huge array of different plant life one minute your in a country garden type scenery the next your in typical NZ Bush.
It was pretty incredible the effort that has been put in this place, it is very well maintained as well.
We found some toilets right next to the car park as well which is always a bonus with kids !
Definitely well worth a visit, I would imagine it would be amazing in spring when in full flower.
If you had plenty of time to spend I would most definitely pack some food and water and spend a good few hours exploring.
If you were short on time like us you could easily just do the Kiwi guardian post walk only taking about 15min, or you could drive around spots to explore as well.
"So many cool plants, i liked trying to find all the weird looking flowers" Meika O'Donnell aged 7
Kiwi Guardian Link
What to Bring
If your interested in plants and trees it would be neat to take a book along and try to name different plants
Time and Distance
Depends on what track you walk, just the Kiwi Guardian track was 15min
Perfect spot for a child doing a project on different plants or trees - some tracks are pram friendly others are not. best to check the map at the entrance.
Free, but donations welcome
They often run events at the gardens, including music in the park events, if you are staying for a few days check out the website and see if they have anything on while your visiting.