The Winter Garden Complex is stunning at this time of year particularly the Victorian style tropical glasshouses which show off lush tropical and heat-loving plants as well as temperate plants to match the seasons.
Rare and spectacular plants with changing displays can be seen in the two large glasshouses that face out onto an ornate courtyard and a sunken pond.
There is also an amazing diverse collection of New Zealand ferns growing in a dis-used sunken quarry site next to the glass houses. If you are lucky you might see our native bird the Tūī flying amongst the ferns above.
We will be including a visit to the Auckland Domain and Winter Gardens as part of our Mountain to Sea City Short Tour this summer.
Anawhata is a beach on the coast of New Zealand, west of Auckland.
It is one of the least used beaches in the area because there is a long and unsealed road to reach it, and a steep track from there down to the beach.
But once you are there, you will see that the scenery is absolutely stunning.
The lagoon is a great place for a refreshing swim.
Nīkau is the Māori word for palm tree, and the word specifically refers to the palm fronds on the tree.
The nīkau grows up to 15 metres high and produces flowers ranging from lilac to pink between November and April. It is the only palm species endemic to mainland New Zealand. And it is often found in lowland coastal areas such as Piha on Auckland’s West Coast.
There is a sense of primordial beginnings when you walk through a nīkau grove such as this. It truly is stunning.
New Zealand Māori named these birds Tākapu and they were once highly prized for their plumage.
Tākapu are large birds whose powerful wings enable them to soar and glide gracefully around their colonies and over the coastal waters of Muriwai Beach. They are spectacular divers and can plunge into the ocean at high speed to catch fish. The birds lay just one egg, in October or November, in ground nests high on the cliffs of Otakamiro Point. By the fourth month after hatching the young birds leave for their westward migration to eastern Australia and will return to breed after their fourth year.
Exposed “pillow lava” cliffs are often a feature of this guided walk with Kiko Tours at Muriwai Beach. Take a leisurely walk along the rocks at low tide. A tour favourite with lots of options to walk under the cliffs and then up to the viewing platforms at the top. This stunning environment is a hidden gem on Auckland’s West Coast.
I was recently offered an opportunity to expand my business by taking visitors to the Auckland Botanic Gardens.
Auckland Botanic Gardens (the Gardens) is an award-winning botanic garden based in Manukau. The gardens are unique with a distinctive South Pacific flavour. The Gardens covers 64 hectares with 10 hectares in native forest.
There is a very good Visitor Centre which provides a space for creative displays and exhibitions and Café Miko offers various food options with morning and afternoon teas plus lunches.
I think you would agree that the gardens and landscape is absolutely stunning.
We can combine your visit to the gannet colony with a scenic walk along Muriwai Beach. As we continue down the path to Muriwai Beach you will be astounded by the diversity of things to do.
We can explore the caves at low tide or view the pillow formations on the cliffs above or head northwards along the beach as far as you like.
Here you will often see an array of colourful kites in the air. Muriwai Beach is a popular destination for kiteboarding and is well known for big waves and strong steady winds and is located on Auckland's West Coast.