Woodlands offers 15 acres of gorgeous gardens to explore. The Historic Garden is registered with the NZ Gardens Trust and is categorised as ‘A Garden of National Significance’ in New Zealand.
The Majority of the gardens were planted over 135 years ago, being some of the oldest and largest trees in New Zealand.
Woodlands Historic Gardens are known for their extensive plantings of Camellia’s, Wisteria draped Monet style bridges, formal lawns and tranquil lake.
Woodlands boasts a variety of trees that are among the oldest and largest of their kind in New Zealand. There is a large variety of birds enjoying life in the Woodlands trees, including, Thrush, Fantail, Tui and more recently Kaka.
When you enter the estate off Whitikahu Road and work your way down the drive a Eucalyptus fastigata dominates the view and it's not hard to understand why with a trunk that has a 15-metre girth. This 45 metre high beauty has a span of 33 metres.
Two of the rarest trees on the estate are our Fraxinus Americana. But even these seem dwarfed when looking at our many Platanus x acerifolia – the two biggest being 40 metres in height. One of them towers over the historic homestead reducing it to a mere cottage in size.
One of the favourites, a sentiment shared with our native New Zealand bird, the Tui, is the Erythrina Crista – galli. Better known simply as the coral tree its flowers are a bright bright orange, giving the appearance of a blazing fire.
Coral trees are rare in the Waikato being a tropical tree from Brazil. Hillier's Manual of Trees and Shrubs describes it as a beautiful semi woody plant.
The Woodlands Coral tree is 10 metres high with a canopy spanning just about the same measurement.
Our Famous Camelias
There are a number of Camelias at Woodlands that date back to when the homestead was built in 1872.
We are unsure if seeds or plants were brought over from England but the history books tell us Captain Cook successfully took Camelias on his travels.
Four of the oldest at Woodlands have been named - “Helenor” and “Bronacha” were introduced into western gardens in 1866 and ended up at Woodlands not long after.
The other two are named are “Lowii” and the unusual Thompsonii and Thompsonii rosea”, thus named because both coloured flowers are on the same tree along with “Thompsonii rosea variegated” – this peculiarity makes quite a picture.
The ‘gigantic' theme continues with the old Wisteria that used to drape the homestead but is now contained on a very robust pergola.
The Juglans nigra, chamaecyparis lawsoniana and Pyrus communis are among the other magnificent trees that grace the Woodlands estate and help to make it the Garden of National Significance it is today.