Natural Areas

Native plantings abound within Hamilton’s natural area reserves. These reserves are often localised pockets of original indigenous vegetation existing within suburban limits such as the remnant Kahikatea bush that can be found at Jubilee Bush and Mooney Park and include major restoration sites such as Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park. The city also has an extensive system of gullies that carve their way through the suburbs as they make their way toward the Waikato River. There are four major gully systems (Kirikiriroa, Mangakotukutuku, Mangaonua and Waitawhiriwhiri) as well as numerous minor systems occupying a total of 750 hectares or eight percent of the City area. 

Formed over 10,000 years ago and filled for 1000’s of years with rich and diverse native vegetation, Hamilton’s gullies and river banks were largely cleared for timber, horticulture and farmland by the late 19th century. As the city grew and developed as an urban area in the 20th century the gullies were neglected and often used as dumping grounds, becoming filled with weeds. 

Despite this past neglect, the gullies, along with the Waikato River itself, have now been recognised as the central focus of a city-wide restoration of indigenous ecosystems. This is due to their status as the primary natural areas in an otherwise entirely urbanised environment. The gullies add another dimension to the cityscape, providing green space for recreation, visual relief from the urban environment, and habitats for a wide range of wildlife. They are also a vital part of the city’s walkway and cycleway systems helping to link suburbs and provide suburban transit for people without the need to cross busy roads. 

Improvements in the gully habitat through restoration plantings helps to promote the biodiversity of Hamilton including iconic species such as bats, tui, bellbirds, kereru, as well as aquatic stream life.  This wildlife can spread throughout the city via these natural gully networks to other natural areas and beyond the city limits.

Beerescourt | Chartwell | Chedworth | Claudelands | Deanwell | Dinsdale | Fairfield | Fitzroy
Frankton | Hamilton Central | Hamilton East | Hillcrest | Maeroa | Nawton | Pukete
Queenwood | Rotokauri Rototuna | St Andrews



Edgecumbe Park
Matakanohi Reserve​


Donny Park
Fairfield Esplanade​


Onukutara Park​


Jubilee Park
Miropiko Reserve
Pine Beach​




Grove Park
Till’s Lookout​


Ranfurly Park​


Ex Glenview Club
Peacockes Road Esplanade
Sandford Park
Whatukoruru Reserve​


Lincoln Street Reserve​

Hamilton Central

AJ Seeley Gully Reserve
Hamilton Parade
Kirikiriroa Reserve

Hamilton East

Graham Island​


Hammond Park
Humarie Park
Mangaonua Esplanade


Beetham Park Gully
Waitawhiriwhiri Esplanade​


Brymer Park
Farnbourough Drive Reserve
Lake Rotokauri Park
Mooney Park
Smyth’s Plantation
Te Tiwha O Parei-iri-whare Park


Sylvester Esplanade
Te Hikuwai Reserve


Queenwood Esplanade
Tauhara Park


Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park​


Featherstone Park
Mangaiti Reserve
Te Awa O Katapaki Esplanade​

St Andrews

Totara Park​

Gully Restoration Programme

The Gully Restoration Programme is run by Hamilton City Council and works to promote and grow the green space networks of the city providing a link between publicly owned natural areas and private gully sites.  With around 400 hectares of gully in private ownership city residents with gully properties have an important part to play in helping to realise this vision for their city. Find out more about the Gully Restoration Programme.

Community planting on natural areas

Hamilton City Council is working with community groups and residents to improve our natural habitats and increase the cities biodiversity for future generations to enjoy.
We have had thousands of native trees and shrubs planted by community group volunteers to encourage native birds like tui back into our city, and it is working, however there is still more that we can achieve together!
If you would like more information or to get involved visit Community Planting.


Page reviewed: 26 Jul 2016 12:24pm