Parks & Reserves
In New Zealand most of the beautiful public parks, reserves, riverside domains & bushlands are able to be used as the location for your ceremony. All of these parks & reserves are picturesque in their own way, making them ideal for both the ceremony, photos & the reception. Tauranga & the wider Bay of Plenty, Coromandel Peninsular & the Waikato have so many beautiful parks & reserves – here’s just a few.
McLaren Falls Park
20 minutes drive from Tauranga’s CBD, on state highway 29, McLaren Falls Park is a tranquil & secluded area comprising 190 hectares of pastoral & horticultural parkland, set alongside Lake McLaren. Especially spectacular in spring & autumn. The park has three designated areas for weddings or large gatherings, each able to accommodate variable numbers of guests up to a maximum of 75. The area also features waterfalls, a glow-worm grotto & overnight camping areas.
Te Puna Quarry Park
I love Te Puna Quarry Park. Just 20 minutes from the Tauranga CBD, on state highway 2, this park offers so much variety in such a wonderfully compact area. It is a magical place, created from a disused quarry & transformed into a world class park. The park enjoys panoramic views out over the Bay, gardens of infinite variety, native & exotic trees, loads of different shelters, nooks & themed spaces, a magnificently, patinated vintage diesel-engine shovel & a dragon. There is also a small reception hall available for hire. Click here for more photos.
Government Gardens is one of the major parks in Rotorua’s central city. Located in Hinemaru Street the Government Gardens provides a perfect backdrop to any wedding picture & certain areas are available for hire for weddings – for a nominal fee. These areas include the Klamath Falls Rose Garden, Band Rotunda, Te Runanga Tearooms & Blue Baths all located within the Government Gardens.
On the fringe of Rotorua CBD, Kuirau Park is a uniquely Rotorua experience – with many geothermal features & several picturesque areas. There are a number of geothermal ponds, steaming mud pools, hot springs, a wisteria-covered bridge, extensive manicured lawns & a free natural hot spring foot bath to soak your feet in when the hard work is done.
Redwood Forest Park
The Internationally renowned Whakarewarewa & Redwood forest park covers more than 5600 hectares. Full of walking, hiking, mountain biking & horse riding trails – this park is a national treasure. The park features a large area of mature (over 100 years old) Californian Coastal Redwoods. These towering trees, along with numerous other species & the fresh forest air, combine to create an invigorating atmosphere & a truly unique & special environment.
There are specific event areas that can be hired for a full on, everything-laid-on, magical wedding event, but it’s also an ideal spot for a quiet registry-style or elopement ceremony – especially when combined with the magic of the Treewalk & The Forest Nightlights.
Just 6 minutes from Rotorua CBD, Centennial Park is a beautiful memorial park reserve, situated on the slopes of Tihiotonga. Encompassing 20 hectares of rolling land & steep gullies, the area has been beautifully planted, but not over manicured. The trees put on a magnificent show in Spring & Autumn whilst providing shade in the summer & there is a Maple grove & beautiful pond too. An ideal, quiet location for a small gathering with a casual picnic or BBQ reception.
Murray Linton Rose Gardens
Murray Linton Rose Gardens, just a few minutes out of town, is a step back into the 70s – the quintessential rose garden with manicured roses a large walk-through pergola, an expansive open lawn area & a very photogenic, gnarly old tree. A nice small suburban park for a ceremony & photos.
Situated on the outskirts of town, the Gardens is a beautiful, suburban oasis. A formal entrance gives way to rose gardens, a scented garden, mature trees & open lawn areas. An amphitheatre is used as a venue for plays & concerts during the summer & cultural events.
Gilmour Lake Reserve
Right on the edge of Waihi township is beautiful Gilmour Lake Reserve. A lake, a fountain, mature trees – a beautiful spot any time of year.