5 - Miyazu Gardens & North Road Playground

A flat walk taking in the Miyazu Japanese Gardens and the North Road playground with views to the sea from the Trafalgar Cycleway.


Time: 30 - 50 minutes (does not include playground time)

Area: Atawhai

Note: The Trafalgar Cycleway is a shared use path so stay left and move off the path when stopped. Sealed and gravel pathways, some parts tricky for buggies.

Start Location: The Miyazu Japanese Gardens on Atawhai Drive. There is plenty of parking, or walk or bike from the city along the Trafalgar Cycleway which begins at the Northern end of Trafalgar Street.

Download the Miyazu Gardens & North Road Playground map (60KB PDF)

Route directions

You can tour the Miyazu Japanese Gardens first, or on your return.

These Japanese Gardens were opened in October 1995 to celebrate Nelson's sister city relationship with the City of Miyazu. Pick up an information pamphlet on the gardens from the right side of the entrance gate. A trip around the gardens can take up to an hour if you take time to sit and enjoy the tranquillity.

From the gardens walk north along Atawhai Drive and turn left onto the Trafalgar Cycleway. To tour the Japanese Gardens on the return journey turn left into the nursery driveway which gives an alternative entrance. Follow the sealed path until you cross the railway*, turn left and walk alongside Neale Park to North Road where there is a playground. Walk past the Founders Park service entrance to take the path along the Founders Park perimeter fence to Atawhai Drive**.

Founders Park was first established in 1986 and is home to many of Nelson's historic buildings and artefacts. The park is open seven days a week and there is a small entrance fee. Turn left onto Atawhai Drive and past Whakatu Marae. Visitors are welcome to tour the grounds of the marae around the meeting house Kakati but cannot enter the building. If you are invited onto the Wharenui, please do not take photographs. Return to the Miyazu Gardens.

Options: *For a longer walk, continue straight on after the railway crossing on the Trafalgar Cycleway to again cross the railway. Continue ahead and just past Grove station, exit the cycleway left to Sovereign Street (a sign says 'To Collingwood Street'). Go straight ahead and take the first left into Weka Street. Turn left into North Road past Neale Park to the playground.

**If you feel like a stretch of the legs rewarded with excellent views, you can head up the track opposite Founders Park. The track winds up through the trees to Sir Stanley Whitehead Park (see Walk 10).