Eastwoodhill, New Zealand’s National Arboretum
William Douglas Cook began planting his farm at Eastwoodhill in 1910. Before he died in 1967, he sought to secure his vision for the future and sold the property to Mr H B Williams – which began the second dynasty of Eastwoodhill. The Williams family gifted Eastwoodhill to the people of New Zealand in perpetuity through the 1975 Eastwoodhill Trust Act.
Situated 30 minutes from Gisborne, Eastwoodhill is one of the district’s most visited tourist attractions.
Eastwoodhill Arboretum is the largest collection of Northern Hemisphere trees in the Southern Hemisphere, encompassing an area of 135 hectares. Within the arboretum is the Homestead Garden, a formal garden cared for by a group of dedicated volunteers.
In 2004, Eastwoodhill was recognised as a Garden of National Significance by the NZ Gardens Trust.
A variety of walking tracks encompass the whole arboretum, long and short, gentle and strenuous, catering for all levels of fitness and include access for mobility scooters and wheelchairs.
Eastwoodhill offers guided walking and tours, accommodation, a function and weddings venue, team building and conference facilities, and catering options for visitor convenience.
The Douglas Cook Centre (DCC) was opened in March 2003 and encompasses the visitor shop and entrance reception, a fully functioning catering kitchen, accommodation for 20 (bunk/dorm room style and a double suite) that includes lounge and kitchen area, a discovery centre, library, management office areas, ablution facilities and a large outdoor seating area.
Eastwoodhill Arboretum is managed by the Eastwoodhill Trust Board, governing under the Eastwoodhill Trust Act 1975.
The arboretum is a Charitable Trust and funds its business from a mixture of an endowment fund, gate takings and shop proceeds, grants, donations and memberships.