I never want to go home. It’s not that I don’t love my home, I do. I just always want to get the last little bit out of every holiday or day out. The Waterlily Gardens was my little indulgence on the way home from an amazing long weekend away in Tauranga.
It was also my birthday which mean that I got to call the shots and there were no grumbles from the girls when I suggested that we stop at the Waterlily Gardens to explore.
You can tell a lot about a place from a drive way I think. A good driveway should draw you in. Hint of what’s inside but leave the best hidden. It should be as epic as what’s inside.
We arrived late in September, just outside of the season so the cafe wasn’t open and payment was via an honesty box. I love that we live in a country where an honesty box still works. Kids were free and adults a very reasonable $6.50.
The great thing about going in September is the abundance of spring blossoms. Quite possibly my favourite time of the year with everything pink and fluffy on the trees.
There is a map as you enter the gardens, but as we all know, maps have never really been my thing so we set off to explore.
The gardens are still in the process of being restored and we can’t wait to see what they are like once new owners Evan and Rachael stamp their mark on it.
Meanwhile there is a rustic charm that go with these gardens that I hope they don’t loose. It’s quintessentially Coromandel feel of perfect imperfection.
I like that it’s not perfectly manicured. I like that the handrails wobble just enough to keep you off your phone and looking around you.
I like that the waterhole and waterfall leading into it feel like you have stumbled across something magic and untouched.
I like the tunnels made by trees bowing toward each other with a halo to an unknown destination out the other side.
The Waterlily Gardens is a destination in itself but it’s easy to spend a day in the glorious part of the country with The Falls and the amazing walking tracks at the Karangahake Gorge just down the road.
For our part we had the next part of my birthday to get to – lunch with James Mum and the kids at the very yummy Courtyard Cafe in Paeroa (seriously you have to try their caramel slice – so good!!).
And just incase you need a bit more convincing, here’s a few more pictures from our visit….