Eastwood Hill is an arboretum of national and international importance. It holds the most comprehensive collection of woody plants in New Zealand and possibly 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 4000 different taxa of trees, shrubs and climbers on the 135 hectare property, gathered by the late Douglas Cook, the founder, and since augmented by the Eastwoodhill Trust Board.
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.
Curator Dan Haliday leads the team, and is passionate about botany and Eastwooodhill. Dan brings a wealth of knowledge and can often be found working amongst the trees on one of the many walking tracks or in the office.
Dan Haliday took up the position of curator at Eastwoodhill in January 2015 after a comprehensive career in botany and horticulture. He initially gained a Trade Certificate in Horticulture and was employed at a tree and shrub nursery in Waiuku, South Auckland. He also holds a Diploma in Nursery Management and Degree papers in Botany and Zoology from Massey University.
Eastwoodhill is situated approximately 35 kilometers northwest of Gisborne - a 30-minute drive through the picturesque Ngatapa Valley on the Wharekopae Road.
From Queen's Birthday Weekend (June) to Labour Weekend (late October) we close the shop and Visitor's Centre on weekends and public holidays. However, the Arboretum is still open and an honesty box system applies.
The Homestead Garden is 1.5 hectares, and extends from the Visitor Centre to the Homestead and across to the Black Gates.
Senior Citizens (over 65) $12
Children under 5yrs no charge with paying adult
Children aged 5 - 17yrs $2
Polytechnics $10 per student
Universities $10 per student
If you plan to visit with a group of 15 or more, please contact Eastwoodhill staff at least three working days prior to your visit as we may be able to arrange to have the Cafe open for your visit. Bookings need to be made between 9am and 5pm Monday - Friday.
Minimum 15 people per booking or a minimum charge of $150 (minimum charges do not apply to morning or afternoon teas).
A mobility scooter, kindly funded by the Esme and Tom Tombleson Trust, is also available from the Visitor Centre free of charge.
Children, and their parents, are beginning to discover 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 a television is child friendly, and is a fantastic way to discover the natural world up close.
Walking tours of the arboretum take approximately an hour, and a minimum of four people on these tour is ideal. However if you would like to take a tour with less people, please talk to the staff in the Visitor Centre or contact Eastwoodhill.
A tour with the curator of Eastwoodhill, viewing some of the special flora and fauna in the arboretum.
$15 plus entry fee per person (minimum charge $60).
Tours must be booked prior to 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 is able to seat 12 people maximum. A minimum fee of of $50 is charged.
Our walks cater for 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.
The latest addition to the Eastwoodhill Arboretum Education Programme is the Discovery Centre. The Discovery Centre features information boards about the history of the arboretum and the people who are credited with developing and securing its future.
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. 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.