There are many areas within Valley Gardens to explore, each with their own characteristic plants, landscaping and other features.
Highlighted below are the nine key areas to take in on your visit. Click on the numbers to find out more.
1. Fountain Pond
A striking fountain sculpture and waterfall give the Fountain Pond area its name.
Surrounding the pond is a large bed pebbled with river stones, and a rockery which together act as a warm sun trap for plants.
This area showcases a variety of succulents, cacti and other exotic plants such as banana. In winter, the aloe form an impressive display with their flower stalks.
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2. Vineyard & Vistas
A steep slope forms the edge to one side of Valley Gardens.
At the top of the slope, you are rewarded by commanding views over the Bay of Plenty towards Waihi Beach and Mayor Island.
Over this park-like area are scattered specimen trees and a nascent vineyard. In a few years, you will be able to share the grapes with us on your visit!
Spring brings some beautiful displays of blossom on a number of trees. Pohutukawas come out at Christmas time, and the efflorescence of bubblegum pink blooms on a bottlebrush tree is quite unbelievable.
When the conditions are right in autumn, the slopes are covered in mushrooms and other weird and wonderful fungi. 30 or 40 varieties may easily be seen.
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3. Water Lily Pond
A gem of an area within Valley Gardens. Sheltered and secluded, this is the perfect place to contemplate the world while sitting under the shade of a Japanese maple tree.
Its leaves turn a stunning red in autumn, while visitors earlier in the year are rewarded by the display of water lilies.
Nearby are large banks of renga renga which explode with white flowers in summer
4. Azalea Glade
Enter through an imposing gateway of mature Rewarewa trees and find the Azalea Glade framed by some arresting steel ponga sculptures.
Below the sculptures are plantings of azaleas and calla lillies which form a bed of colour.
In the middle of winter, the nearby daphnes come into bloom and their exquisite scent fills the glade.
5. Bush Glade
From the Azalea Glade and through a gate, the path leads down to a hidden bush glade.
Quietly sit and listen to the sounds of the bush shaded by a large puriri tree. Its pink blossom is especially noticeable in winter.
It's easy to find...just follow the rainbow!
6. Trails in the Bush
From the bush glade, follow the path on a circuit of the native bush to find mature buttressed pukatea trees covered in epiphytes and extraordinary looking tree ferns.
A spring feeds a small forest pool of crystal clear water, marking the beginning of a stream. If you look carefully, native kokopu fish can be seen and even the odd koura (freshwater crayfish).
7. Food Zone
To the side of the Main Lawn lies the Food Zone. A small orchard provides a variety of fruit, which together with a large vegetable garden allows a degree of self-sufficiency.
Depending on the season, visitors may be offered "tasters" to refresh them on their walk round the garden, and the chance to buy produce to take home.
8. Main Lawn
The Main Lawn is an ideal space for visitors to have a picnic, or for younger ones to have a good run around.
In addition to lawn, the area has some further specimen trees and a number of fruiting olives.
There are some excellent views of the Kaimai Ranges from lower down on the lawn.
9. Kauri Grove
A new project which has seen the creation of a significant kauri grove with 270 trees planted.
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