The free-entry gardens sit between the Waikato River and State Highway One on the Cambridge approach to Hamilton.
The grounds are split into sections, each offering a themed display of plants in collections called Paradise, Productive, Cultivar, Landscape and Fantasy. The Productive Collection includes Te Parapara, New Zealand's first traditional Maori garden which shows what was grown before Europeans settled in the country.
North of Cambridge is the Waitakaruru Arboretum and Sculpture Park (13.5km, 17 mins drive), a 17-hectare garden and arboretum that includes more than 18,000 trees and shrubs. Ponds, a lake, waterfalls and a running stream make for a delightful stroll through a park that's been carved into a hillside quarry. The park is at 207 Scotsman Valley Rd, Tauwhare. The park is open for annual pass holders (Friends of the Park) and by appointment for organised groups (10+), concerts,weddings and other events. It is not open for casual visitors.
The Woodlands Historic Homestead is half an hour's drive north of Cambridge, in Whitikahu Rd, Gordonton. Built in 1872, the homestead is a classic villa surrounded by stunning gardens that are open to the public, free of charge, Tuesday-Sunday.
The closest public gardens to the centre of Cambridge are the Thornton Road Gardens, on the boundary of the Cambridge Domain. The gardens include a Begonia hot house, rose gardens, a fountain and band rotunda.
The neighbouring town of Te Awamutu is often called "Rosetown" after its impressive public Rose Gardens in Gorst Avenue (25.5km, 28 mins drive). The gardens, established in 1969, have more than 50 varieties and more than 2,500 bushes of roses that flower between November and May, attracting thousands of visitors.
Taitua Arboretum, a 20 hectare reserve owned by the Hamilton City Council, has mature trees, lakes, woodland gardens and plenty of space for picnics and children. It's at 55 Taitua Rd, Temple View (32km and about half an hour's drive from Cambridge). Entry is free.
Imagine a place where people can learn how important wetlands are, the human benefits they provide and the unique plant and animal communities they support.
Visit Rotopiko Reserve for a pest-free picnic. Enjoy easy walks, lake views, ancient swamp forest, rare plants and native birds.
Located in front of the Cambridge Town Hall and plaza.
Includes the Town Clock and cenotaph
Located behind the Council building in Wilson Street.
Entry is from Bath Street or at the end of the driveway to the Council office.
Located beside the Cambridge Library in Wilson Street.
Developed to commemorate the Cambridge sister city of "Bihoro" Japan
Covering the major towns of Te Awamutu and Cambridge and the smaller settlements of Temple View, Ohaupo, Pirongia and Kihikihi.
Office Hours Monday-Tuesday 8am - 5pm, Wednesday 9am - 5pm, Thursday -Friday 8am - 5pm
These gardens include the Rose Gardens, Sunken Gardens and indoor Begonia House
Between Te Awamutu and Ohaupo, Lake Ngaroto is a pleasant flat walk around the peat lake, suitable for most ages and levels of fitness.