Day 340 on the Road
Another One of the Awesome Free Things to Do in Whangarei
Today we are checking out the Whangarei Quarry Gardens and taking it easy after Robin broke his arm yesterday. If you like this video and want more NZ bucket list inspiration then simply head over to our epic YouTube Channel and Subscribe!
Today we are going to a sub-tropical oasis. There you go.
This morning we are heading to the Whangarei Quarry Gardens and I’m driving.
Very serious business.
So if you guys watched yesterday’s episode, you saw that I broke my arm but we’re not going to be stopping our activities every single day cos of that but we’re gonna take it a little bit slower in the next few days.
Believe it or not it’s day 1 on me breaking my arm and I’m already carrying the bag.
The quarry gardens are just 5 minutes away from the Whangarei City centre and at the entrance you can either go in for free or make a donation cos the gardens are run by volunteers. And they’ve done an amazing job cos this is a pretty awesome garden.
To be honest, when we heard of the Quarry Gardens we couldn’t imagine a quarry actually being a place that looks good but they’ve done an amazing job here, there are so many different sub-tropical plants because actually in the Northland region of New Zealand, which is currently where we are at the moment, they have a sub-tropical climate meaning they have high rainfall but the highest temperatures in New Zealand which is perfect for all these sub-tropical native and exotic plants.
On top of that, the stones from the quarry actually radiate heat to help these sub-tropical plants thrive so that’s another key to this garden. And as a result, there are some amazing plants and trees growing here including this really spiky one.
Ooo, ahhhh, it hurts. Ow it really does hurt. It’s so prickly. This tree is fierce.
The huge variety of plants in this garden is absolutely mind-boggling. It feels like almost every single time we turn our head we see a bunch of at least 10 different plants that we’ve never seen before.
It’s quite impressive the different colours that we can see, as well as the different textures and shades it’s so cool. Plus, on top of that it’s winter right now and all the flowers are actually in bloom which is really unusual in New Zealand and gives a whole new feel to the place unlike anything else in the country.
As per usual, Laura is taking about a million pictures.
To be quite honest the walk toward the lake is actually not that long but it takes us super long because we stop every two seconds to take a tonne of pictures.
Look at that one for instance. It’s like almost in flower but not in flower but it’s just like looks like a purple grape. Look at that. I love it.
All the waterfalls that you are seeing right here are manmade and so is the lake that we’re heading to. The tallest waterfall in here is 40m.
Just behind us we can see the shape of the mountain is really quarry-like. You can see the different layers where the trucks used to drive all the way down cos a quarry is usually built into a big spiral on the side where the main hole in the middle is the main mine basically. You can really feel and see the shape of the quarry right here still within the gardens.
As we are heading toward the lakes a few signs are telling us the history of the area. It was a massive quarry between 1944 to 1974 then it was used basically as a rubbish dump. It was completely abandoned and turned into a garden only in the 1990s. Since then it has blossomed into this amazing place to hang out in Whangarei.
Although it would have been a really sad place to visit in the 1990s when it was a big dump, it’s quite amazing to see that in only a few decades it was turned into something so beautiful. It’s a pure amazing example of what humans can do if we actually decide to do something good with our time, rather than destroying everything around us. I genuinely love this place.
Alright so we’ve just been caught by some pretty heavy rain so we hide under some trees. And slowly make our way back toward the car.
That’s just the prime example of what the weather is like in New Zealand. All of a sudden, the weather can change dramatically and we had no idea it was going to rain today but as soon as it’s started raining it stops and we can stop huddling underneath the tree and get on with all the amazing walking tracks around the quarry gardens.
There are actually maps at the entrance of the quarry gardens so you can look at all the different walking trails around but for Robin and I, we’re just basically seeing where our feet take us and they take us to some pretty amazing places. On the way back, we take a trail on the opposite side of the stream to where we came and we find a little banana tree enclosure which is really cool.
On top of all the walking tracks, there’s all these little side gardens that you can check out as well like the bromeliad garden, the fragrant Chamilia garden, the arid garden and the five senses garden which we’re going to show you in just a bit but meanwhile, we’re continuing on the track.
Look, this ain’t right! Leaves ain’t supposed to be this size. Big as yer head. Have you ever seen a leaf as big as yer head?!
Alright, moving on from there the next thing we’re gonna be checking out is the industrial heritage because yes, that was a big quarry and yes, that was a big part of the Whangarei history so there are a few relics of this past which are exposed around the gardens. Then we are moving onto the five senses garden, which is quite cool where you can experiment with different plants through your senses and Laura discovers more fruit.
This is a pineapple plant. I’ve never seen a pineapple plant before. This is amazing.
And little Laura’s discovery journey continues with mint.
This one’s good it’s mint.
Would you like to taste it?
Nope, don’t like mint.
Aw, you don’t.
Alright this wraps it up for today it was an awesome free things to do in Whangarei, if you guys are hanging around the area, it’s definitely something worth checking out it’s pretty mellow, it’s pretty awesome and no matter the weather you’ll have fun.
You know what’s really cool with my arm, right here? Is that I can attach the microphone just right here and it’s pretty neat. So honestly, that’s a winner. I wish I broke my arm earlier. That’s what I wanna say. Look how easy that is. Usually I have to go under the collar through the shirt, that’s just right here. And no one sees the microphone. Oh my God, everybody that does any travel vlogging or does any travel related stuff should break a bone. That’s my professional opinion.