COVID-19 travel alert: Taupo region is currently at Alert Level 1. Learn more.
Throughout the Reserve there are numerous trails and these usually have a theme, for example rhododendron, camellia, lemonwood and The Floral Walk. There are opportunities to walk in the native trees that have been preserved, with specialist plantings including flax, hebe, rata and kauri. These have survived the harsh winters and are now well established.
An active rodent eradication policy has enabled the birds to have a safe haven and often the only sounds heard are birds and the rustle of the breeze in the tree tops.
There are over 2000 rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas growing in the Reserve which have been strategically intermingled in the forest trees with other feature plantings. The best time to see the spectacular floral displays is in spring – October and November.
If the best flowering period is missed, the 2km loop of sealed drive provides ample opportunities to stop and view Taupō, Mount Tauhara and the lake with the mountains in the distance.
Many picnic tables and seats are provided, some with views and others located in the trees and open spaces. It is an ideal place for children to play and explore the many hiding opportunities that abound. Families meet for birthdays, anniversaries, lunch, morning or afternoon tea and several areas are ideal venues for marriage ceremonies.
Waipahihi Reserve is located at the top of Shepherd Road, the route used by stage coaches that carried travellers from the Taupo wharf to the Terraces Hotel (now the Hilton) for onward travel to Napier or Rotorua. A section of the Reserve's sealed drive incorporates the Taupō – Napier Coach Road.
Open until dusk every day, the Reserve welcomes everyone and is a great Taupō family activity. The Waipahihi Botanical Society appreciates visitors’ donations and interest in their piece of paradise.