Waipoua State Forest is a beautiful reserve of kauri trees on the road between Dargaville and Kaikohe. The road from Mangamuka to Kaitaia passes through magnificent native bush. Mair Park at Whangarei has native trees and a rose garden. Trounson Park is another reserve of kauri trees, of about 75 acres. It is at Aranga, 7 miles south from Waipoua.
Special features are the Domain and Winter Gardens; the Museum (park land, playing fields, and subtropical-plant houses); the Parnell Rose Garden; the Research Station of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (plant pathology and fruit research); the well-landscaped Ellerslie Racecourse; and the Waitakere Scenic Drive through native bush, with extensive views of the Auckland area.
In and around the city there are many private and commercial growers of lilies, orchids, gerberas, and carnations.
Among Hamilton's many reserves and sports grounds is Parara Park and outdoor theatre. Cambridge has tree-lined streets (early street planting) and an extensive domain of native trees and shrubs, with Lake Te Koutu in the centre. At Rukuhia there is the Department of Agriculture's Soil Research Station, and at Te Kauwhata a Horticultural Research Station (viticulture and wine making). Along the Waikato River, which has been transformed in sections by hydro-electric schemes, extensive planting of trees and native plants has been carried out.
There is a wealth of natural and man-made beauty in this district – Lake Okataina; Hongi's Track; Lake Rotoiti; the Government Gardens, with fine examples of Azalea indica and a display house with many subtropical plants; and the Kaingaroa State Forest, which is a huge area of exotic trees.
Bay of Plenty
Tauranga has many private and public gardens with tropical and subtropical plants, some of unusual types. The coastal road from Tauranga to Gisborne, via East Cape, passes through fine scenery, with pohutukawa in flower at Christmas time. The Coromandel Peninsula has native bush, with good kauris.
The Botanical Gardens, with river running through, are very attractive, with plantings of trees, shrubs, and palms. There is an extensive private collection of trees and shrubs at Eastwoodhill, Ngatapa, and at Morere which has mineral baths and is a scenic reserve.
The Marine Parade at Napier, with its avenue of Norfolk Island pines, the Beach Gardens, Clive Square, with roses and palms, and Palm Avenue, Nelson Park, with a fine avenue of mature Phoenix palms, are features of the city. Hastings has the Tomoana Show Grounds, with impressive specimen trees, and Cornwall Park (ornamental plants and a large aviary); and at Twyford, Ormonds Road, there is an oak avenue over a mile long. There are many fine farm homesteads in Hawke's Bay with good collections of ornamental trees and shrubs and, in the higher altitudes, rhododendrons and azaleas. In the gardens around Havelock North there are numerous South African and Australian trees and shrubs.
At Pukekura and Brooklands Parks there are large collections of trees and shrubs and a fern grotto. The Pukeiti Rhododendron Trust contains an area of 600 acres of native trees and is being extensively planted with rhododendrons, azaleas, and other similar plants. Burgess Park, Main Highway south, has native bush. There are many nurseries in the district.
North Egmont, Dawson Falls, and Stratford Mountain Houses give access to Mount Egmont, with easy tracks through bush to subalpine scrub and alpine meadow. Inglewood, Stratford, and Hawera all have good public parks, and at Waverley there is a large private collection of roses.
The large public park at Virginia Lake has trees, shrubs, and a display house; at Kowhai Park there are specimen trees. Wanganui City streets are planted with many ornamental trees, especially the scarlet gum (Eucalyptus ficifolia), which flowers in January and February. At Bastia Hill there are nurseries specialising in rhizomatous iris and South African and Australian plants. Many private gardens have good collections of camellias, roses, irises, and the like.
Focal points are the City Square, widely planted with many kinds of flowering plants; Esplanade Gardens, which feature flowering cherries in October and rhododendrons and azaleas to December; Memorial Park, established as a war memorial and laid out for sports and suitably landscaped; and Bledisloe Park, with trees and shrubs. Massey University of Manawatu set in well planted, landscaped grounds, is a centre of horticultural teaching and research. (At present it is the headquarters nursery of the New Zealand Rhododendron Association.) At Milson the Department of Agriculture has a research area on turf and sports-fields management, and a seed testing station. At Long Milford there is a notable private collection of lilies, rhododendrons, and azaleas. In the district are several nurseries specialising in all types of horticultural and ornamental plants.
At Levin the Department of Agriculture's Horticultural Research Station carries out research in all horticultural crops, including ornamentals. Commercial cut-flower production, especially in flowers such as narcissi, Iceland poppies, violets, and carnations is concentrated around Otaki.
Masterton has its attractive Queen's Park, with an adjacent modern sports stadium and an interesting children's play area. On the roads near Greytown there are good specimen trees, including oaks and gums. Many farm homesteads have attractive gardens planted up with a wide range of trees and shrubs.
The city has many scenic coastal drives, showing a varied vegetation of indigenous and exotic trees, interspersed with areas of gorse. The Botanical Gardens have fine bedding displays, ornamental plantings, and bush walks. The Lady Norwood Rose Garden has a large display house for begonias and other glasshouse plants; and the Otari Gardens, Wilton Road, contain a comprehensive collection of native plants. The coastal Waikanae-Paraparaumu district enjoys a mild climate and many modern gardens have a wide range of subtropical plants.
The Civic Centre at Lower Hutt is an effective illustration of the harmonising of architecture and horticulture. In the vicinity are Jubilee Park, with many native trees, and Percy Scenic Reserve, Petone, with ornamental plants and bush walks.