Totara Waters Subtropical Garden and Accommodation


The Garden

Totara Waters Subtropical Garden, almost one hectare in extent, is nestled on the shores of the upper Waitemata Harbour where it displays many rare and collectable plants scourced from around the North Island.

Development of the garden on an almost bare site began in 1999 when truck loads of lichen covered rocks and boulders were brought in from a local quarry.

The large sub-tropical plant collection differs widely with specimens from many different genera – large bromeliad collection, cycads, beaucanea, yuccas, aloe, agave, strelitzia and scores of palms. These are arranged in island beds and on sweeping lawns in a style evoking the tropics.

We have Parrots on display, large melting pots, chimney pots, and a variety of Garden Art. Totara Waters features a stunning Bonsai Collection, over 25 varieties of Palms, and a large display of Bromeliads and Succulents.

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The Gardener

Peter and Jocelyn are perfectionists, which is apparent the moment you arrive at Totara Waters. They collect ornamentation which is a feature and real love. Old chimney pots gathered from around New Zealand (and some from the United Kingdom) and large crucibles as well, all collected over time. This garden has been a long time dream, which you realise when they tell you about the large collection of bonsai, which were grown from seed 40 years ago.

An unusual sight greets visitors at the bottom of the garden where the rusting hulk of HMNZS Hawera has been abandoned since the early 1950s.


Garden Details

89 Totara Rd, Whenuapai, 23km west of Auckland city region.
Contact Person
Peter & Jocelyn Coyle
Garden open by appointment only.
Garden Size
2.5 acres allow 1 hour.We welcome : Garden Clubs, Social Clubs, Bus and Coach Tours.
Entry Price $10 per person , $15 overseas groups guided tour.
Brochure Available?
Brochure available.
Off street parking for buses coaches and cars.
Food Available
Morning/afternoon teas available by arrangement..
Seating available,
Wheelchair Access
Garden is wheelchair friendly.
Dogs Allowed
No dogs please.
Children Allowed
Yes but please supervise
Accommodation : Stay in our 2 bedroom fully self contained unit $150 - & $220 per night.
Plants/Other Sales
Plant shop Monday to Saturday 10am – 4pm.
Guided Tours
Yes by arrangement, please ask for price.
Other Facilities