About 5 kilometres from Hamilton, New Zealand is the 20 hectare Taitua Arboretum with more than 1500 species of exotic and native trees. It provides a pleasant and easy walk, with wide gravelled paths and plenty of benches and gazebos.
I didn’t take many photos, but tried out a vertical panorama on these eucalpyts. I like the photo.
It took around an hour for a slow and gentle stroll on a warm afternoon. There are chooks running around all over the place, plenty of ducks and a few black swans. I spotted a rabbit too, unfortunately.
Note for my overseas readers: rabbits are a pest in New Zealand as they have no natural predators here. They help destroy environments that should be supporting native birds, and damage agriculture.
I was a bit disappointed to not really see or hear any native birds, beyond a few tui and pukeko. The pukeko ran away too quickly for me to grab any photos worth anything.
The trees were beautiful, their diversity most refreshing. I came across my first ever Monkey Puzzle tree. On stretching out a finger to touch it I quickly discovered how extremely sharp its leaves are.
The bamboo grove was shady, and provided glimpses of cows in the paddock next door.
In many spots the ground was covered with dry leaves — something we never see in Wellington, on account of the wind.
Having left Wellington just as the Pohutukawa were about to flower, I’ve been aware that there aren’t Pohutukawa or Rata around Hamilton. The city and surroundings are full of large and wonderful deciduous trees, that give it a somewhat English feel.
In some ways the Arboretum is a concentration of the many fabulous trees all around the area.
Entrance is free, there’s a tap with drinking water at the entrance, and a couple of clean and well-maintained toilets. Dogs are allowed, if on a leash.