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Quarry Gardens - an Other-worldly Experience

Sunday just gone (Mothers Day) has to rate right up there for me, a gorgeous sunny day spent with family discovering a new and quite stunning part of Whangarei. I'd seen the sign to the Quarry Subtropical Gardens and logged it as a place to visit the next time we decided it was time for a break from gardening or renovations.

Lucky for me, this occasion was Mothers Day so the excursion was preceded by a relaxed morning with coffee in bed and followed by a delicious lunch at our favourite artisan café La Familia.

So the Quarry Gardens will definitely be added to our list of highly recommended local adventures. The experience exceeded our expectations and I think the whole place has a particularly special feeling about it because it's the result of thousands of volunteer hours. From it's history as a quarry and then a rubbish dump for almost 20 years, what has emerged is nothing short of incredible. A wondrous haven of exotic plants, terraces of vibrant colour, cascading waterfalls and historic ruins, the care and consideration invested into this beautiful place is very heartening.

We marveled at the shapes, colours and textures while meandering along the walkways...
Our timing was obviously just right as the melodic sounds of a lone clarinet player filled the gardens during our stay. He was nestled in the rocks near a waterfall, it wasn't hard to see why this spot took his fancy, his beautiful playing provided a perfect soundtrack.
We'll be returning to this fantastic place for sure, next time with a picnic or maybe just to see the huge collection of fragrant camellias in full bloom. I'm sure we'll find plenty of reasons to enjoy the evolution of this awesome local treasure!