A beautiful and extensive park and bird sanctuary near Katikati on the edge of the inner Tauranga harbour, the Katikati Bird Gardens feature a wide range of native and colourful birds. Set in delightful gardens of mature trees, lily ponds, wetlands and secret paths. A great gift shop with a bird and garden theme. Cafe serving Italian coffee and light lunches. Golf car tours and accommodation in a romantic cottage. Great gardens to visit, family day out and place to unwind.
The Bird Gardens are on the outskirts of katikati and were created in 1976 when local visionary Chris Parker set to work landscaping a little over ten acres of land running down to the harbours edge.
With his English background, botanical knowledge and the sites natural attributes of fresh water springs, ponds and wetlands he transformed this once bare land into a beautiful and special garden.
Sealed paths meander through spectacular golden Swamp Cypress, water trickles its way to the sea through an elaborate series of ponds. Most of the original plantings remain to this day and year round colour is provided by the giant camellias and magnolias brightening the winter hues, azaleas and lilies form the spring and summer palettes with shades of green, red, yellow and orange from the trees.
For Bird enthusiasts the gardens are an oasis. Set on the edge of the harbour with a purpose built man made fresh water lake and with natural saline wetlands visitors can get up close and experience a fantastic area of the bird sanctuary.
The wetlands area are home to a number of Kawaupaka (little shags) and ocassionally Kotuku-ngutupapa (Royal Spoonbill), white faced herons nest in the magnolias, paradise shelducks, black swans and Papango(black teal) grace the ponds.
In the more formal areas of the gardens visitors can see Kea ( NZ Mountain Parrot), Kereru (Wood Pigeon), Kakariki ( NZ Parakeet).
• Adults $9.50
• Senior citizens & Students $8.50
• Children $5.00
• Family Pass ( 2 Adults & 2 children or 1 Adult & 4 children) $25
• Golf cart tour additional $20 per cart. ( up to six persons).
• Self drive $30 per 1/2 hr, $45 hr. ( four + seater )
I had heard lots about this place from friends that had visited and with it only being a 10-15 minute drive from my house I thought I had better go and check it out for myself. I am glad I did as it is such a beautiful place and my little family really enjoyed the day out even managing to extend our family with four new baby chickens.
The gardens are absolutely beautiful with a range of native plants as well as beautiful flowers making the walk around the park which takes about 45 minutes a real visual treat. The birds are really cool there are a range of birds and you can feed them with bags of food you can buy for $1 a bag. The whole experience is really reasonable being $25 for the whole family and then the extra for the food.
There is a real cool rope swing which my daughter really enjoyed swinging on and a cool tree house which was real fun to get up into and get a good view of the gardens. Also in the lakes you can see goldfish and carp which my son really enjoyed looking at. We let him out of the pushchair for a while and he enjoyed chasing the ducks which must be used to humans because they were real friendly and would eat the food out of your hands.
Such a cool day out and I would happily go again. The park also has a little cottage which I would love to go and have an overnight stay at as I think it would be such a relaxing place to stay. I would never let Olly catch wind of this but I think it would be a real cool place to get married at with the beautiful back drops!!
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