Located between Gordonton, Taupiri and Whitikahu, just north of Hamilton, Woodlands Estate is something very special. It has so much history, a stunning garden, good food & is dog friendly which is the icing on the cake. I actually grew up about 10 minutes around the corner from here, and have attended many weddings and events at this spot. The gardens themselves are free to visit, and are an easy, short walk with the dogs. Top it off with a coffee and some lunch or a snack at Prof’s Cafe and that’s a great morning out!
The paths through the garden are fairly easy going, mostly wide with good bridges and gravel footing. There are the occasional steps but these can be mostly avoided with the different trail options so this is an easy walk for people of a range of mobility levels. You could walk for 5-30 minutes exploring the different paths and enjoying the gardens. There are often birds on the pond and cows in the neighbouring paddocks which the kids and overseas visitors always love to see.
Just beyond this cute look out is an lawn with some beautiful trees. There’s also a swing there for the kids (and adults!) to play on, and logs and platforms for the dogs to hop up on.
Enjoying the sun on the front lawn of the homestead.
We sat outside at Prof’s Cafe, and the dogs were quite happy to hang out and say hello to other customers. The staff were very welcoming and brought out some fresh water for Dash and Flirt to enjoy. The food is always good here too!
On Lead Only
Car Parking – Lots of gravel car parking space, though it can be quite busy at times.
Toilets – Yes.
Bins – Yes, though not really through the gardens themselves
Other – This is a wedding and event venue too, so be respectful of this. Parts of the gardens may be closed during these events, if in doubt call ahead. There are always a lot of people here on weekends including kids and tourists, so make sure your dog can cope with this. The cafe is great for people kids, with lots of toys and room to play on the lawn while the adults chat. The gardens themselves are free to enter while the homestead (not dog friendly) has a small donation to enter (highly recommend – really neat place to visit!).