This page contains information about the two main public gardens in the Whangarei city centre named after prominent people.
12/05/2015 2:57 p.m.
Laurie Hall Park
Laurie Hall Park is in the centre of Whangarei and can be accessed by car from Rathbone Street and by foot via flights of steps from Bank Street or Dent Street. It features a man-made waterfall and a spectacular hillside of floral gardens. There are open grassy areas for picnics and games, a childrens playground and seating.
The park is named after the district’s highly respected former town clerk, Laurie Hall MBE.
Laurie was appointed accountant for Whangarei Borough Council in 1927. In 1936 he became Town Clerk where he remained until his untimely death on 13 April 1951, at the age of 49. His passing shocked both the district and the nation.
Laurie Hall was deeply committed to the wellbeing of the people of Whangarei. This extended to supporting our returned servicemen, and in 1946 he was awarded an MBE for his work ‘to further the interests of local men serving in the forces in World War 2, and for his patriotic welfare work’.
It is therefore appropriate that Whangarei’s new war memorial, unveiled in March 2015, is situated in the park named for him.
Cafler Park is one of the best known parks in the central city. The park can be accessed by foot from Water Street, from the city end of First Avenue or from the Forum North carpark.
Within the park are the city's rose gardens, a number of sculptures, manicured laws and colourful flower gardens. The Waiarohia River runs along its western boundary.
Across the river is the city's unique conservatory and fernery (Botanica Whangarei), which has year round displays of colourful subtropical flowers and houses containing cool, green ferns and filmy ferns.
The park is named after the Cafler family. Edward Eugene Cafler, born in France 1797, served in the battle of Waterloo and after many adventures around the world, settled in Whangarei in 1855. He was an enterprising businessman who built a majestic home near what is today the Town Basin, and later a cottage in the vicinity of the park. Cafler built Whangarei’s first hotel, first store and first post office. He died in 1893 at the age of 95.
For further information about Botanica Whangarei follow the link below.