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private garden

Cross Hills Gardens and Nursery

339 Rangiwahia Road RD 54 Kimbolton 4774 .


The farm was purchased in 1938 by Eric Wilson the founder, and the gardens have been developed in stages.

Following the building of a new Homestead in 1951, the grounds were landscaped with native and exotic trees and shrubs, including many rhododendrons. These flourished and flowered to perfection, the climate and soil obviously to their liking.

As interest in rhododendrons grew, a decision was made in 1970 to plant a large collection, so the second garden we call the Cafe Garden was created.

In successive years planting continued, with a later addition in 1982 being the Azalea Bowl. 

In 1984-85 the Middle Flat above the Conifer Valley was planted containing many of the new and exciting imports to Cross Hills. 

1990 saw the finish of the Waterfall and Ornamental Pools at the base of the Clematis Bank. 

After many importations and some home breeding, the rhododendron and azalea collection now totals over 2000 varieties. With the thousands of bushes planted, it has been possible to create the many different colour groupings

The Gardener

Since the passing of Eric Wilson, the founder of Cross Hills, in 1992 and his wife Merle in 2003, their son Rodney and wife Faith own and operate this multifaceted business. Their son Scott is also very involved and is responsible for many of the days to day activities at Cross Hills. Angela, Scott's wife, is the latest member to join the family team and is assisting with the construction of the new website.

Garden Size

18 acres, allow 1-2 hours for your visit.

Other Facilities

Cross Hills Gardens Country Fair.  We have a fantastic selection of stallholders to showcase their wonderful wares. As our fair grows each year in scale and reputation we will endeavour to keep the same high standard and variety.

All buildings on Cross Hills have been constructed from cypresses macrocarpa timber is grown on the property. The timber in the Garden Cafe and Plant Centre was milled from trees planted in 1939, grown from seed off one of the specimens in the front car park. Stones from the base of the Ruahine Ranges have been used in the stonework on the front of the Garden Cafe. The same stone has also been used in the retaining walls throughout the gardens. 


  • Price
    Adults $10.00 Adults $8.00 for 20 people or more. Children Free. Off-Peak Season Adults $5.00. Our season ticket gives you entrance to the garden for as many visits as you can fit in right through to the end of May. These are fully transferable so you can pass it on to someone else to use. Give one as a great gift to garden lovers or those friends or family members who appreciate regular walks in the fresh country air! Get yours from the Garden Cafe or Office. Only $17.00 each or $30.00 for two.
  • Parking
    Easy access for coach parking close to Cafe and Plant Centre. Ample car parking by the front gate and also in the large paddock beside the main garden.
  • Wheelchair Access
    Most buildings are accessible by wheelchairs or electric scooters. Virtually all the garden is accessible by wheelchair (wheelchair available to use) or electric scooters but due to the distance to view the garden, we suggest having two pushers. Alternatively, book a tour on the Magic Mini
  • Dogs allowed?
    Sorry, no dogs allowed, excluding guide dogs.
  • Food available?
    Dine indoors or alternatively outdoors in the sunny patio area where you can admire the beauty of the surrounding garden. Apart from our tasty home-baked food and good coffee we also have sweets, chippies, soft drinks and ice creams for sale.
  • Cafe/Restaurant available?
    Operates daily throughout the peak spring season, October and November and will seat 60 people for the morning, afternoon teas and light lunches. Also available cold drinks, sweets and ice creams etc.
  • Picnics
    You are very welcome to picnic in the areas set aside. We have tables in the grassed picnic areas opposite the cafe.
  • Children allowed?
  • Toilets?
    The toilets are located opposite the office.
  • Seating
    Picnic tables are set out in the grassed car park areas giving families the opportunity to relax and play.
  • Plants/Sales
    Visit Cross Hills Gardens & Nursery and browse our large selection of Rhododendrons and Azaleas. All our Rhododendrons are field-grown onsite in Kimbolton to ensure a healthy, non-root bound plant. Open from June 2021 – 20th November 2021 seven days 10.30 am – 5 pm.
  • Guided Tours
    Magic Mini Tours are available on weekdays only. At $7.00 per person (minimum $25.00), we offer a service to transport around the garden for those visitors who are unable to walk the distance. The Magic Mini seats 9 people and the trip takes 35 minutes. This service is available by appointment only from the 9th October to the 20th of November
  • Weddings

    By arrangement.


339 Rangiwahia Road RD 54 Kimbolton 4774 .

Centrally located on Rangiwahia Rd, 5 km north of Kimbolton, (32 km north of Feilding) with good access from all directions. Estimated travel time from Wellington is 2.5 hours, Masterton and Hastings 2 hours, New Plymouth 3.5 hours, Taupo 2.5 hours, Wanganui 1.25 hours, Palmerston North and SH 1 at Mangaweka 45 minutes. Check web site for map.