|Kapiti Coast Information Centre||Paraparaumu Visitor Information Centre|
|239 State Highway 1, Otaki||Coastlands Carpark, Paraparaumu|
|Phone: 06 364 7620||Phone: 04 298 8195|
Please note: Weekend and public holidays dates have not been included in the garden visits listed for the Kapiti area because traffic during these times is likely to be very slow.
Awanui Garden, Manakau
‘Row, row, row your boat’
This garden, east of the railway line at Manakau, takes you on an undulating walkway around a lake fed with natural springs where a dingy is waiting for you to row. A lovely mix of native and exotic trees and plans skilfully put together in an attractive setting that includes sculptures. Plenty of seats. There is a charge of $7.50 per adult; no charge for children.
Thursday 6 and Thursday 13 September, Wednesday 10 and Monday 15 October, Tuesday 6, Thursday 15 and Wednesday 21 November.
103 Honi Taipua Street, Manakau, Horowhenua
Contact: Alison Ellis, 021 475 190 (www.awanui.co.nz)
Bixley House, Te Horo
Birds and Trees
Bixley House has an enormous native bush area with small, mossy pathways for easy navigation. All kinds of natives, including a huge totara that is 500-600 years old and has been described by DOC as ‘amazing’. This magnificent tree was standing in its present form for several hundred years before the first early settlers arrived. Tui abound and there is a nesting pair of wood pigeons.
Thursday 6 and Tuesday 11 September, Wednesday 10 and Tuesday 16 October, Tuesday 6, Thursday 15 and Wednesday 21 November. Free admission with cream teas available at a nominal charge.
255 Old Hautere Road, Te Horo, Otaki (North of Te Horo and just south of the Otaki Bridge, take the turn-off to the east marked Otaki Gorge Road and then turn right into Old Hautere Road. Bixley House is on the right.)
Contact: Angela and Derek Perkins, 06 364 3969 (www.bixleyhouse.co.nz)
‘Gracious and inspiring’
Enjoy the magnificent chamomile lawn and spacious garden with easy access for wheelchairs. All the trees are natives – totara, cabbage trees, rimu garden. Bush walks, rhododendrons, camellias, magnolias and apple blossom trees in the spring, and probably the largest collection of ericas in the region, dovecotes with doves. Seat benches (with backrests) galore and the whole place is sheltered. Tranquil pockets for quiet reflection. Space to stretch one’s legs in gracious and inspiring surroundings. A delight!
Thursday 6 and Tuesday 11 September, Wednesday 10 and Tuesday 16 October, Tuesday 6, Thursday 15 and Wednesday 21 November. (For other dates, please phone 06 364 0277 to ensure Coehaven is open.) Entrance to the gardens is $5 per person which increases to $8 per person if you wish to use the covered barbeque area with gas cooking facilities, fridge and freezer. Snacks and lunches are also available; please book for larger groups. There is a film theatre in operation most evenings; consult the programme in local newspapers or phone 06 364 7001 for information.
150 Rangiuru Road, Otaki. (Just north of the Otaki Bridge, take Riverbank Road, heading west. Bear left at the work and left again into Rangiuru Road.
State Highway 1, Te Horo
Contact: www.coehaven.biz This website links to the Nature Coast (Kapiti and Horowhenua) website.
Sudbury Estate, Waikanae
This beautifully maintained garden is a delight, complete with pink and cream water lilies on the lake, lots of roses and a small area of native bush inhabited by tui and kereru and visited by bellbirds and moreporks.
Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 21 November, 10am-4pm. Free admission on these dates.
39 Manu Grove, Waikanae. Manu Grove is on the northern perimeter of Waikanae. When driving north, take the first road on the left past the traffic lights (Ngaio Road), then first right (Parata Street), second left (Sylvan Avenue), fourth right (David Street), first left (Hurunui Street), then first right. Map and directions can be downloaded from www.sudbury.co.nz
Contact: Glenys and Brian Daw, 04 902 8530
Waikanae River Southbank Walkway
‘Every tree has a spirit, they say’
This area has been planted with 20,000 native trees over the past 10 years. Many of these little trees are now looking sturdy and proud, so this is a great time to visit them and encourage their growth. Please note that it’s okay to take your dog on a lead, but you must be careful not to allow your dog into the river because there is often a problem with toxic, possibly fatal, algal bloom in this river. To walk all the way up to SH1 on this public walkway would take one and a half hours. Walking halfway still gives you a good look at the wonderful planted areas of native trees.
From SH1, it is one and a half kilometres to the second sign for Otaihanga. Turn right. From this point, it is another 1.5 kilometres until you reach the Otaihanga Domain (park). Stay on Otaihanga Road, turn right at the end into Makora Road and continue to the park entrance on the left. Parking is available within the park as are picnic tables and toilet blocks.