Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | May 6, 2011

hidden gem

The East Coast has a hidden gem that is one of the most delightful places in the country – Eastwoodhill Aboretum.

My mother-in-law is a volunteer for Friends of Eastwoodhill and because my two children spend so much time with her in the holidays ( ūüôā ) they have come to know Eastwoodhill well. So have I over the years and I have grown to love the changing of the seasons there – from visits in¬†summer with shorts and tshirts to autumn with camera clicking with¬†the cacaphony¬†of cascading colours (hold back on the alliteration girl!) to winter with a brisk walk around to get the warmth¬†pumping right through to spring again with the gorgeous daffodil walk.

You can choose a series of walks to do – all colour signposted as you walk – from the easy red or blue through to the more energetic green, which takes you to the highest points of the walk or the yello, which gives you the beautiful panoramic view you see here:

sorry, taken with point and shoot, not the fancy camera!

The coolest thing this time was doing the native tree walk (red I think). We saw a few kauri and I remembered taking a photo of the children a few years ago at a kauri tree. Well… here they both are! All the trees have a GPS number so we’ll have to get that and take photos for the next 50 years!

Sarah and Lachlan - summer 2006?

same tree 2011?

The vision of Eastwoodhill¬†Arboretum¬†is to “to foster understanding and appreciation of nature by education, research and enjoyment of our unique plant collection” which drives public participation and appreciation of the Arboretum.

The botanical collection planted by Douglas Cook is regarded as the largest and most comprehensive collection of Northern Hemisphere trees south of the equator, encompassing an area of 135 hectares.

This collection could never be imported today due to stringent bio-security restrictions, hence its great value to New Zealand and the wider world. This value has been recognised with the acknowledgement of Eastwoodhill as the ‚ÄėNational Arboretum of New Zealand’ (this is all from its website).

A variety of walking tracks cover the whole arboretum, catering for all levels of fitness and mobility, and guided walking and four-wheel drive tours are offered as well as accommodation, team building and catering and conference facilities. Within the arboretum is the Homestead Garden, a formal garden cared for by a group of dedicated volunteers. The Arboretum is one of the top visitor destinations in Gisborne and attracts more than 8000 visitors annually.

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