Go bush at the Gardens
If you would like an experience of wild New Zealand nature during your time at the Auckland Botanic Gardens, we highly recommend a visit to the Native Forest. Take a short or a long walk alongside streams, through beautiful nikau palm and tree fern groves, and listen to the calls and songs of the busy native birds. Look up and admire the tall, ancient podocarps in the canopy and see if they have any interesting epiphytes hitching a ride up to the forest canopy.
This is a piece of original remnant forest and represents almost all that is left of the alluvial flat forests common in Manukau in pre-human times. It is characterised by mature rimu, kahikatea, miro, mataī and tōtara. These grow alongside some 170 other species of native plants including some that are very special, such as the epiphytic orchid Earina autumnalis, and regionally rare trees such as kaikomako (Pennantia corymbosa).
There are multiple entry points to the trail and different options for short or long walks. The full trail is 4 kms and will lead you on a loop of the whole forest area – it will take approximately 2 hours at a leisurely pace. There are great spots for a picnic on the trail or call into Cafe Miko at the Visitor Centre on your return. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a leash at all times on the forest trail and in the main picnic area in Totara Park.