Keirunga Gardens, owned by the Hastings District Council, stands out as one of the premier parks in the Hastings District, covering approximately 7.9 hectares. Often hailed as the art and cultural hub of Havelock North, the garden boasts distinctive features across various sections that contribute to its unique charm.

In the recreational area, visitors can witness the Havelock North Live Steamers’ remarkable miniature steam train operation, featuring over 800 metres of tracks adorned with bridges, viaducts, and tunnels. Established in 1992 after 26,000 volunteer hours, the site includes a children’s playground (2006) and ‘Paintbrush Garden’ sculptures by artist Peni Edwards (2007).

The open space area invites exploration up the knoll, a vast open grassed area behind the railway, leading to the southern point with breathtaking views of Havelock North and Te Mata Peak. No formal tracks exist due to the topography, but this area guides visitors to Arthurs Path.

In the heritage building area, the original Gardiner family homestead, designed in the early Arts and Crafts style, stands as an integral part of the gardens. Adjacent to the homestead is the Quilters Cottage, and the heart of the gardens features a Scarlet Gum tree planted in 1915. This area also houses cottage garden-style gardens, including a memorial garden dedicated to George Nelson.

The exotic woodland area, along the western side of the gardens, offers Arthurs Path, an informal walkway surrounded by oak trees. Named after Arthur Morris, the path winds through a quiet valley shaded by mature oak trees, with extensive bulb plantings for spring colour.

Poplar Flat and Crabapple Walk, located at the northern point of the gardens, provide a large open area known as Crabapple Walk or Poplar Flat. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll or have a picnic beneath the crabapple trees.

Upper Keirunga, a separate parcel of land up Puflett Road, is currently undeveloped and unconnected to the main gardens. Historically, George Nelson intended to link these areas for continuous access, but physical separation by private property has posed challenges. This area is managed as a natural woodland with no formal walkways, and future plans aim to connect these two sections of Keirunga Gardens.

More information on Hastings District Council website here.