Valued recognitions pour in for Woodlands Estate



Woodlands Estate in Gordonton is a must visit (Photo Supplied)

Praneeta Mahajan
Hamilton, April 18, 2023

The gardens at Woodlands Estate have again been recognised for their historic character and unique identity. The estate has recently received a Five Star Garden of National Significance status.

The rating, awarded every three years by New Zealand Gardens Trust, recognises gardens for their presentation, design and plant interest throughout the year.

“This is a phenomenal achievement, and I would like to acknowledge the blood, sweat, tears and hours of hard work that our gardening team have put in,” said Waikato District Council Community Venues and Events Team Leader, Samantha Baker.

“The passion of our three gardeners Tertius, Kevin and Mi-Claire shines through in the outcomes that we have achieved.”

Gardens awarded this rating must also have a distinctive identity of their own, a character that gives them an edge, and may have special features that may appeal to those with special interests.

Woodlands was commended for maintaining the historic character of much of the gardens, specifically the trees, informal plantings of shrubs and ground covers.

Waikato District Council owns the land used for Woodlands Historic Homestead and Estate, which is supported by the Gordonton Woodlands Trust Board.

Ms Baker said, “Council would like to acknowledge and thank the Trust for their ongoing support and partnership. The outcomes we achieve together are stand out pieces and Trust input was vital for our success.”

Wedding venue that weaves magic (Photo Supplied)

Outstanding Venue Award

Woodlands was also named as Outstanding Wedding Ceremony Venue for 2022 at the New Zealand Wedding Industry Awards.

Woodlands was one of five finalists in the Best Wedding Ceremony Venue Category, which had eleven entries. The judges were impressed by the Estate’s customer-centred communication and model for continuous improvement.
“Woodlands Estate has shown that they grow from strength to strength and listen to the feedback of their customers and their peers. They managed to work with their customers through COVID-19 lockdowns employing a strong customer-centric model, ensuring their valued (and often stressed nearly-weds) were well informed at every new Government setting and how the venue would navigate through to ensure their clients’ dream weddings were still magical,” said one of the judges.
Kirstie Alley, Manager for Woodlands Estate, said that winning was great recognition for their team for the effort they put into each client experience. Woodlands Estate received multiple nominations by past clients, which Ms Alley said was flattering.

“We feel incredibly honoured to win this award and be nominated by past couples we have worked with. It is fabulous to have our team receive recognition for our work, often unseen in the background, to pull off unforgettable experiences for our clients.”
Woodlands Estate was also one of four finalists in the Outstanding Wedding Planner Category, represented by Estelle Payton, their in-house wedding planner. Ms Payton takes pride in her job of working alongside clients in the lead-up to their special day.
“Four years ago, when I started wedding planning at Woodlands, I thought, ‘Wow, what a dream job’. Four years later, that sentiment has still not changed.”

“Nothing beats what I do. The overall feeling of the day itself is rewarding; you come away feeling all loved up from seeing the incredible happiness and joy of the couple and those celebrating with them.”

Woodlands homestead file image (Photo Supplied)

A part of region’s History

Woodlands Estate has been an integral part of Waikato region and stands as a testament of all the changes in the region. The estate was established as a 98,000 acre estate purchased from The Crown by The Piako Swamp Company for 2/6 (25 cents) an acre. The estate stretched far and wide to include Taupiri, Orini, Te Hoe, down to Eureka, Tauwhare, and Ruakura and back to Gordonton. The homestead is now set in 15 acres of gardens & reserve.

The Homestead, restored to its former glory, was initially built as a Manager’s residence between 1875 and 1881. It is primarily made of Kauri and still features some original weatherboards and roof iron.

Woodland’s Homestead is a category 1 Historic Place, Heritage New Zealand. The gardens are home to New Zealand’s largest Eucalyptus, the finest Liriodendron in the Waikato, an American Ash and a Juniperus Chinensis.

Visitors can still take a trip down history with a visit to the homestead and experience the lives of those who called it their home.

Today it is administered by the Woodlands Trust Board, who employ one full time gardener who maintains the grounds with help council support and a dedicated team of volunteers.

Woodlands gardens were designed around the existing trees by Dr Peter Sergel, also of Hamilton Gardens. This includes a lake complete with Monet type bridges.

Make a trip

The gardens are open to the public to visit free of charge 10am till 4pm, seven days a week. The homestead is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am till 4pm.

A full cricket oval, is next to Woodlands café. This was designed with help from ex New Zealand Cricket Representative John Parker when he was with Sport Waikato. Woodlands hosts school cricket during the summer season. It is also very popular with Waikato businesses and other groups who play cricket in the summer.

Visitors can walk around the gardens, which are a favourite for Instagram worthy locations, explore the homestead, enjoy the food and spend the day under the Waikato sun this winter season.

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink reporter based in Hamilton.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share this story

Related Stories

Indian Newslink

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement