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public garden

Eastwoodhill Arboretum

2392 Wharekopae Rd, Gisborne 4072


Eastwood Hill is an arboretum of national and international importance; it is recognized as the National Arboretum of New Zealand - Te Mara Rakaunui o Aotearoa. It holds the most comprehensive collection of woody plants in New Zealand and the largest collection of Northern Hemisphere trees south of the equator including 170 species currently on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (I.U.C.N.) world endangered list. The arboretum displays over 25 000 different taxa of trees, shrubs and climbers on the 250-hectare property, gathered by the late William Douglas Cook, the founder, and augmented by the Eastwoodhill Trust Board in the 1970s.

Many winter-flowering trees herald spring when a one-hectare planting of daffodils and prunus, malus, magnolias, chestnuts, maples, cornus, azaleas and many unusual species come into bloom. There is interest all year but the highlight is perhaps in autumn when oaks, ash, maples, cotinus, larch and countless other deciduous trees provide a riot of colour. Many rare and unusual conifers add evergreen form and colour.

The historic one-hectare homestead garden dating from 1910 is an integral attraction cared for by volunteers. An ongoing project, the garden provides a fitting introduction to the arboretum and is full of interesting plantings aesthetically combined in a unique setting.

There are many volunteers who provide invaluable help to the staff in maintaining this natural treasure for all to enjoy.

The Gardener

The Interim Curator, Biran Singh leads the team and is passionate about botany and Eastwooodhill. Many of our staff bring a wealth of knowledge and skills and can often be found working amongst the trees on one of the many walking tracks or in the office.

Eastwoodhill is currently in the process of hiring a new full time Curator. 

Garden Size

Eastwoodhill Arboretum is the National Arboretum of New Zealand and encompasses over 131 hectares planted in exotic and native trees, shrubs and climber plantings. The Homestead Garden is 1.5 hectares and extends from the Visitor Centre to the Homestead and across to the Black Gates. This is a garden maintained by a loyal group of volunteers and staff.


These can be held on-site - with a ceremony or whole wedding with reception - make enquiries to the office - enquiries@eastwoodhill.org.nz

Other Facilities

Our walks cater to all levels of fitness and ability, from flat tree-lined paths to a steep climb up Mt Arateitei which rewards visitors with glorious views of the arboretum and the surrounding countryside.

The walks are clearly signposted, and maps are available from the Visitors Centre. 

Eastwoodhill Arboretum has an Education Program in the Discovery Centre. The Discovery Centre features information boards about plants, seasons and artefacts from the past which a routinely maintained and updated depending on the time of year. There is also an interactive area specifically designed for children to enjoy, play and learn more about nature.

Eastwoodhill provides an inspirational environment for art and craft groups, study groups, walking groups, or groups of friends after some quality time together.

There are many educational opportunities at Eastwoodhill. We love hosting student groups and try to keep it as cost-effective as possible. We also have a range of different orienteering activities for all age levels. Prior bookings are preferred, so please get in touch. 

Depending on the season, it's possible to encounter over 40 species of native and exotic birds at Eastwoodhill who come to feast on the many seeds, insects and berries within the arboretum.


  • Accommodation
    Immerse yourself in the beauty of our very own national arboretum when you enjoy a stay at Eastwoodhill's Douglas Cook Centre. We have accommodation to sleep for 20 1 studio with ensuite Twin room 16 Bunk beds All linen and towels are provided. Shared kitchen and living area - all cooking utensils provided
  • Price
    Adults $15 Senior Citizens (over 65) $12 Children under 5yrs no charge with paying adult Children aged 5 - 17yrs $2 Family pass $28 - 2 adults and up to 4 children Polytechnics $10 per student Universities $10 per student
  • Parking
    Off-street parking for coaches' buses and cars. Separate parking for accommodation guests. Parking is available for fully contained campervans.
  • Wheelchair Access
    For people with mobility issues, or for visitors wishing to see more of the arboretum, we have a Jeep available for tours - seats a maximum of 12 people. Weather permitting and by prior arrangement. We have 1 mobility scooter, kindly funded by the Esme and Tom Tombleson Trust, which is also available from the Visitor Centre free of charge.
  • Dogs allowed?
    No not at this time sorry.
  • Food available?
    Cold drinks, snacks, ice creams and ice blocks. We can cater for morning tea or lunches for groups by prior arrangement.
  • Cafe/Restaurant available?
    The is a cafe on site.
  • Picnics
    Enjoy a boxed picnic to take to your favourite spot in the park. The courtyard has large tables with umbrellas. You are more than welcome to bring a picnic.
  • Children allowed?
    Designed by leading New Zealand to play space designer Tina Dyer from Play Central, we have created “the most awesome natural playground”. Children, and their parents, are discovering the delights of this amazing new playground - all its existing areas and elements are ready to be explored and enjoyed. The Discovery Centre features a children's corner including a library of books, as well as bean bags to relax in. An interactive microscope projected through television is child friendly and is a fantastic way to discover the natural world up close.
  • Toilets?
    Yes, we have toilets available along with disabled facilities.
  • Seating
    Enjoy a picnic hamper at your favourite spot in the park, or a scrumptious light lunch or evening meal in the relaxing surroundings of the Douglas Cook Centre courtyard.
  • Plants/Sales
    There is a small selection of plants for sale, while stock lasts.
  • Function Center?
    Enrich your Eastwoodhill experience by staying at the arboretum, taking a guided tour, or booking a corporate conference or function. The Douglas Cook Centre library is the ideal venue for your next seminar, conference, retreat or team-building exercise. The Douglas Cook Library can accommodate up to 40 people, with doors opening out to a large patio area - perfect for coffee and lunch breaks. Facilities include a whiteboard, digital presentation equipment and comprehensive office resources. With prior notice, Tasty Leaf Catering can provide all the food and drinks needed to make your conference at Eastwoodhill a great experience.
  • Guided Tours
    A guided tour is one of the very best ways to enjoy Eastwoodhill and discover new and amazing facts about the national arboretum and the 25,000 plants and trees it contains. Walking tours of the arboretum take approximately an hour, and a minimum of four people on this tour is ideal. However, if you would like to take a tour with fewer people, please talk to the staff in the Visitor Centre or contact Eastwoodhill. Tours must be booked before arrival. To book or for more information, please contact Eastwoodhill. Highly recommended for senior citizen groups, visitors with restricted mobility and those on a tight schedule. The Jeep can seat 12 people maximum. A minimum fee of $60 is charged, ($15 per person).


2392 Wharekopae Rd, Gisborne 4072

Eastwoodhill is situated approximately 35 kilometers northwest of Gisborne - a 30-minute drive through the picturesque Ngatapa Valley on the Wharekopae Road.