On the outskirts of Katikati you will find the Bird Gardens. They were established 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, botanic experience and the site’s natural attributes of fresh water springs, ponds and wetlands, he transformed this once unadorned land into a stunning and exceptional garden. Sealed paths weave through remarkable golden Swamp Cypress, water trickles its way to the sea through an intricate series of pools. Many of the plantings you will find are original, and have been kept up till now. The huge camellias and magnolias supply yearlong colour, brightening the winter hues, azaleas and lilies form the spring and summer palettes with shades of green, red, yellow and orange from the trees. Numerous natural birds are on display. Those who visit in the wintertime may even be fortunate enough to see Kotuku Ngutu Papa or Royal Spoonbill swooping over the ponds and listen to the unique croak of white-faced herons as they soar between treetops.
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