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The Manawatu region and surrounds has a stunning and diverse collection of gardens, wetlands and parks. From award winning public gardens, rambling country estates right through to small cottage gardens and quarter acre havens. The Manawatu enjoys a mild climate, and rich, fertile soil in most areas, providing fantastic growing conditions for the many different gardens. Within the city, the Victoria Esplanade is home to the Dugald Mackenzie Rose Garden, which houses over 5000 roses in named beds, and is home to the New Zealand Rose Society International Rose Trial Grounds, trials that have been growing for more than 33 years.
Spring is the perfect time to view gardens such as Cross Hills gardens, home to one of the worlds’ finest collections of rhododendrons and azaleas which are at their best and brightest in the spring time, hosts an annual Country Fair in November. This popular event features an amazing selection of high quality goods, crafts and more. Family entertainment and food stalls complete a great day out, and it’s a good time to check out the Camellia Maze too.
Manawatu is home to a vast array of wetlands, some are privately owned and some are public treasures. The Department of Conservation looks after Pukepuke Lagoon, a dune lake resulting from the formation of sand dunes along the west coast near Tangimoana. Pohangina Valley hosts several private wetlands, one of which was started due to wet, boggy land being unproductive farmland, so it was turned into a sanctuary for native birds. These wetlands play an important part in the Manawatu environment and offer a habitat for both native and introduced birds.
Near Rangiwahia in northern Manawatu, a local farmer had a passion for digging and bulldozing, so he went on to create several significant sized ponds on his property. A majority of these privately owned wetlands are open for public enjoyment. These wetlands play an important part in the Manawatu environment and offer a habitat for both native and introduced birds.
Whether you are travelling individually, or as a group, there are gardens to suit all interest groups. Be inspired by the many different gardens, each one a living masterpiece and a testament to the gardeners talent, devotion and patience.