AUCKLAND WILDLIFE AND GARDENS PACK
There are 4 main National parks on the North Island; Te Urewera National Park, Tongariro National Park, Whanganui National Park and Egmont National Park.
There are also hundreds of Land and Marine Reserves. These Parks and Reserves are managed by The Department of Conservation and information on all of them is available from their website… http://www.doc.govt.nz/
Just for a taster…
Te Urewera National Park – Te Urewera National Park lies between the Bay of Plenty and Hawke’s Bay in the North Island of New Zealand. The nearest towns are Whakatane, Murupara and Wairoa. Remote, rugged, immense, the Park is famous for its lakes and forested beauty as well as its stormy history. In the southern part of the park lie two of the park’s treasures, Lakes Waikaremoana and the smaller Lake Waikareiti. As much of the park is remote and not easily accessible this has helped protect much of the park’s native wildlife. Te Urewera is unique in that it contains a full complement of North Island native forest birds.
Browns Island (Motukorea) – Motukorea lies a short distance offshore from Auckland’s eastern suburbs. One of the best-preserved volcanoes in the Auckland volcanic field, it erupted between 10-20,000 years ago.
The island has been an important part of Auckland’s early history. Historic sites cover much of the island and include Maori pa sites, gardens and settlements, in some cases several hundred years old. Other sites are associated with early European settlement.
Google Earth Co-ords – Lat: 36°49’52.96″S – Long: 174°53’39.84″E
Long Bay-Okura Marine Reserve – The reserve is about 20 km north of the centre of Auckland. The Long Bay-Okura Marine Reserve protects a stretch of coastline on the east coast just north of Auckland city. It is moderately sheltered, and largely formed of Waitemata sandstones and mudstones. Formally established in 1995, the marine reserve includes a variety of coastal habitats: sandy beaches, rocky reefs, estuarine mudflats and mangroves.
24 Omana Ave, Epsom, Auckland
Eden Garden is a garden of regional significance. A piece of paradise that has 5 1/2 acres of a beautiful, tranquil garden with 2 waterfalls. Amongst a wide range of plants we have the largest range of camellia and vireya in New Zealand. The garden was established in 1964 in a disused quarry site, what a transformation. 10 minutes from the Auckland CBD.
Open 7 days a week 9am to 4.30. The Café is open from 10am to 4pm.
40 Gillies Ave, Epsom, Auckland
Hidden from public view by mature trees and high hedges, Highwic contains 1.1hectare of grounds of a wealthy Colonial family. Trees around the homestead date from the 1860s. Norfolk pines dominate the croquet lawn where visitors can still enjoy a game. The original Victorian garden is still evident in a hedged, circular garden with narrow curving pathways. A longer, echevaria edged bed borders the former tennis court. Close by is the Billiard room where pre booked groups can enjoy morning or afternoon tea and the fern house features many varieties of indigenous ferns.
Mikes Garden Tours
3 Edith St., Pt Chevalier, Auckland
These garden tours that combine sightseeing with visiting private gardens. Travel is by mini-coach, visiting a selection of top quality private gardens with a horticulturist guide. An opportunity to meet the local homeowners and see a variety of different types of gardens – from country estates, Spanish pacific, hillside, bonsai, English to flower colour. Six different tour options. Departs daily for full and half day trips.
Waihi Waterlily Gardens
441 Pukekauri Road, RD 2, Waihi
Fifteen enchanting acres of gardens, ponds and established park-like grounds located at the intersection of the Coromandel, Waikato and Bay of Plenty Regions. First established in 1950, the gardens now contain mature specimen trees, more than 40 varieties of water lilies, and natural waterways.
586 Tapu Coroglen Road, RD5, Thames
Rapaura is a 64-acre private estate nestled in the midst of the Coromandel Forest Park, 20 minutes north of Thames, offering a superb example of New Zealand nature at its best. It is a mature property, which has evolved over more than 30 years. Native trees and ferns, seasonal exotics, birds in their natural environment, lily ponds, water features, meandering walks over bridges and streams, ponga sculptures by an award winning artist and a relaxing bush walk to a cascading waterfall, ‘The Seven Stairs to Heaven’.
Sea mammals such as whales and dolphins abound in the waters around New Zealand. Ask locally about viewing points from which they can be seen. Alternatively you can go on an organised viewing trip by boat. There are plenty of providers. There is one mentioned below as an example only.
First Light Travel
6/1 Westhaven Drive, Westhaven, Auckland
Meet whales and dolphins in their own environment on an educational tour of marine mammal watching hotspots in New Zealand. On our private viewing vessels and with your own expert guide, we have a chance of encountering ten species of cetaceans; humpback, Bryde’s, Southern right, Minke, pilot and sperm whales, and bottlenose, common and Hector’s dolphin, orca, and two species of pinnipeds (the New Zealand fur seal and sealion).
The birdlife in New Zealand is fascinating. More than 80 types of seabird breed along the shores. Some migrate annually from the other side of the world and others are only found within New Zealand waters. The native forests are alive with birdsong and rare native species thrive at open sanctuaries. All you need to go bird watching are your eyes and ears, but a guidebook and a pair of binoculars can help.
For the dedicated bird watcher or twitcher there is a plethora of information on New Zealand species and good birding sites at this website…
There are guided trips where you can benefit from the local knowledge and experience of an expert. An example is below…
Quay Street, Auckland City, Auckland
Tiritiri Matangi Island is one of the world’s most successful conservation projects and 360 Discovery takes you there… up close and personal with some of New Zealand’s rarest birds, in their natural habitat. Five days a week (Wednesday through Sunday) throughout the year leaving from Downtown Auckland’s Pier 4. It’s an experience you won’t regret taking. Spend the day on the island with expert guides explaining all about the conservation techniques used and identifying flora and fauna along the way.