Sandara Gardens Waikite Valley

Exclusive tour 3 October

Spectacular treat for serious garden lovers


Tauranga Tasting Tours and Charters have made an exclusive arrangement to have a personal visit to these spectacular gardens. The owners have agreed to host us and will also put on a morning tea on arrival.

Quote from NZ Gardener 1 August 2015

Marian Sandrey’s wonderful garden in the Waikite Valley (just off the road to Taupo) is a testament to years of thoughtful planning and dedication.

This is the area John and Marian Sandrey have lived, worked and gardened in for almost 50 years – and where, in their retirement, they have created a beautiful garden extending over 1.6 hectares.

Rather than formal "rooms", the garden is divided into distinct zones, spread over many levels: woodland planting above the house, a waterfall area, a 50m-long rockery, iris & paeony garden,, bush & fern area, wild-flower meadow, borders filled with perennials & roses, plus dozens of trees.

The waterfall & stream which is lined with 14 Acer palmatum dissectum "crimson Queen", has an inbuilt pump to maintain flow during dry spells.

The pumice soil doesn't get boggy, but the flipside is that it is very free draining, & can dry out in Summer, but the Sandreys have built up its fertility with plenty of compost & mulching with bark.

They were fortunate to have many established trees before extending the garden - but have planted many more, including Himalayan Pines, gingko, kowhai, silver birches, dogwoods & Japanese cherries

In the woodland area, hellebores provide a glossy ground cover - along with azaleas, rengarenga lilies & acubas.

Irises, peonies, native ferns & grasses &...rhododerndrons, line the waterfall walk too, which ends with a weeping elm & seating area.

Seating, consisting of sawn-off trunks, benches & cast-iron chairs, is dotted at 18 points through the garden.

Book quickly with Tauranga Tasting Tours and Charters!

COST: $48.00pp. (Includes door-to door transport, gardens, afternoon tea.

Phone: (07) 5441383or 0275224607



One of Marion's favourite features is the long rockery:
"A rockery garden is quite labour intensive, - there's a lot of time spent on my knees! - but the over-all effect gives us a lot of pleasure and makes all the effort worthwhile. It's an ever-changing picture through the seasons, especially in Spring, as all the ground-cover plants burst into shades of pink, white, mauve, purple and blue."

Elsewhere, on the property are a multiplicity of classic Kiwi country-garden plants such as the Floribuna "trumpeter", whose vivid orange-red blooms flower continuously from November through to the end of Summer, hostas & hydrangeas.

Marion states that the garden is classic but never boring:

"The garden is always evolving. Looking forward to the seasonal changes keeps us enthusiastic and motivated. our garden is at its peak in Spring, colourful in Summer, lovely in autumn, and then in winter, you've got the structure and time to think up next projects."

You are welcome to take a drink & you own food with you to partake of as you travel through the gardens, as long as you leave no litter.