Things To See & Do

Things To See & Do

Our playground

Eastwoodhill Arboretum has what’s been described as “the best play space in New Zealand”.

Designed by leading New Zealand play space designer Tina Dyer from Play Central, we have created “the most awesome natural playground”.

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.

Situated beneath the Visitor’s Centre, the playground has easy access to the café, toilets and the education centre. It has a designated area for preschool children and large areas for the more adventurous – including some of the biggest swings in the country.

Eastwoodhill is delighted to partner with the Eastland Community Trust,  Eastern & Central Community Trust, New Zealand Community Trust, The Les Renner Trust and Wainui Host Lions on this project.

Because of its location the playground poses very little disruption to the park. Visitors to Eastwoodhill can be assured a relaxing, quality experience.


Eastwoodhill is a welcome sanctuary for a huge variety of birdlife from around the district and we welcome any birdwatchers to Eastwoodhill.

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.

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Running or hiking

There are over 25km of tracks throughout the arboretum which are suitable for running or hiking.  There is a trail to suit all levels of fitness.


Eastwoodhill offers orienteering challenges for all ages, from preschoolers upwards.

Ask us about Tahi’s Treasure Hunt. Preschool children can use the check sheet to run around the park and spot specific treasures. You can get your free sheet from the visitor centre.

We also have the Eastwoodhill Explorer’s Pack that contains a variety of fun activities young children and their families can do in the park. It is $2 per pack.

The Blue Orienteering Course is suitable for year one to year six students with a good mixture of exercise, strategy and teamwork. This is $2 per pack.

The Stars in the Park Challenge is for year seven and up. The course is a real test of strategy, planning, team building and some hard work! It’s $2 per sheet, one sheet per group (groups should be about two to four people).


The Rogaine Challenge is a strategic test of time management, brainpower, teamwork and cunning and is suitable for high school students and staff challenges. The challenge is $50, and $2 per sheet and one sheet per group (two to four people).

Guided Jeep Tours

A guided tour is one of the very best ways to enjoy Eastwoodhill, discover new and amazing facts about the national arboretum and the 25,000 plants and trees it contains.

Tours must be booked prior to arrival. To book or for more information, please contact Eastwoodhill.

Eastwoodhill offers a range of guided tours to suit all visitors abilities and interests.

Guided tours take about one hour, and can be adjusted to accommodate your schedule. But, we encourage you to allow extra time to enjoy the gardens and grounds after the guided tour.

Comfortable walking shoes and weather appropriate attire is highly recommended to best enjoy the arboretum and gardens.

All guided tours must be booked in advance through the Eastwoodhill Visitor Centre, or by contacting Eastwoodhill.

Groups of 12 or more people will receive a group rate. Complimentary admission is extended to one group leader or tour manager, and the motor coach driver.

Complement your tour with gourmet box lunches, a buffet lunch or tea at the Douglas Cook Centre overlooking the arboretum or in the Homestead Garden. Catering and prices are available upon request.

Walking tours

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.

Botanical tour

Duration: 1 hr

A tour with a member of the curating team of Eastwoodhill, viewing some of the special flora and fauna in the arboretum.

$15 plus entry fee per person (minimum charge $60).

Cycling – no cycling allowed

There are currently no cycles allowed at Eastwoodhill except for on the Rere Falls Trail Ride day in October.

If you are interested in cycling to Eastwoodhill we welcome any cyclists to book our accommodation.

There are cycle trails organised and promoted by the Motu Trails organisation that cycle past Eastwoodhill. Please see Motu Trails for more information or their Facebook page.

No dog walking allowed

Currently dogs are not welcome at Eastwoodhill.