Renowned for its seasonal colours and photo opportunities, McLaren Falls Park has grown into one of Tauranga’s most popular destination parks. It is 190 hectares of lake-land park with stunning views, extensive walkways and one of the best botanical collections of trees in the North Island.
The park receives 70,000 vehicle visits per year. Facilities include a visitor centre, toilets, showers, barbeques, a hostel and a leased café. It is a popular site for camping, fishing, kayaking, education programmes, picnics and concerts.
There are 10km of high-quality walking tracks throughout the park. Most of the recent upgrade work has been done by corrections workers after a trial programme four years ago proved hugely successful. Other ongoing maintenance has been done by conservation groups and full-time staff.
McLaren Falls Park has a rich history, from its early 20th century origins as a power station to its mid-1960s transformation into an arboretum. First championed as a public park by the Tauranga Tree Society, hundreds of thousands of community hours have helped make McLaren Falls Park what it is today. It deserves a Green Award as much for its heritage as it does for its proven popularity and excellent facilities.