We drove from Whangamata to the gardens (about 1 hr 20 drive) and enjoyed a most pleasant time exploring the gardens, then also did the walk (about 20 mins one way) to the waterfall. Total time spent was 2 hours, which was neither rushed nor too expansive for teenagers who can get bored quickly!
We did not purchase anything to eat/drink from the counter or restaurant - but menu selections seemed very nice. We'd packed a picnic lunch which we enjoyed at one of several picnic areas available at the gardens. Highly recommended and very, very beautiful gardens. Loved the various Mallard and other duck species and their inquisitive nature!
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