Fernglen Native Plant Gardens
Hours open: 9.00 am to 4.00 pm
Fernglen Native Plant Gardens is a unique reserve dedicated to growing collections of New Zealand native plants and trees. It was once privately owned by the Fisher family. In the 1950s Bill and Muriel Fisher began collecting native species from all over New Zealand, including some from the outlying smaller islands.
Inside the entrance gate a series of single pathways meander around tubs, rocks and rock pools featuring the native plant collections. Many of the plants in the gardens are labelled. The alpine house features sub-alpines and other plants that are difficult to grow in cultivation.
A short loop walk through the native forest leads to a ‘fern house’. The walk can be accessed by a track just above the Education Centre. A longer, steeper walk descends down into a gully and over a boardwalk crossing a natural stream.
The tracks leads up to Ben’s Ridge where there is an extensive Coprosma collection, possibly the largest in New Zealand, as well as grass and divaricating (with densely interlaced stems) plant collections growing near a park bench. Retrace your steps to arrive back at the Education Centre.