1 km
20 min
5 min
Information for this trail was last updated January 2024
There is currently 1 information alert for this trail:

Trail closed

Tūranga Gardens, enclosing the Elizabeth Williams Walkway, is currently closed. Two slips have exposed some old asbestos waste from the demolition of Cook Hospital and GDC has closed the reserve because of this safety concern. 

Last updated: Jan 2, 2024, 11:58 AM
Tūranga Gardens, encompassing the Elizabeth Williams Walkway, is a gem in the middle of suburbia. You can find the gardens by walking up Hospital Road and Hillview Terrace and turning left into Diana Avenue. Near the end of Diana Avenue, Tūranga Gardens covers several hectares of the slope dropping down on your right into a stream.
The gardens comprise a network of trails between the landscaped plantings of native trees, rhododendrons and camellias, and a huge variety of other trees and plants including natural regeneration. There are wide main paths, narrow winding trails, steps, and wooden bridges. You can walk or cycle into the gully and follow the path over a wooden bridge and up the other side to meet the alternative Hospital Hill access which climbs up the hill from Valley Road, opposite The Farmyard Early Childhood Centre.
In addition to thousands of volunteer hours involved in developing Tūranga Gardens, donations from the Turanga Lions Club, Williams Family Trust and Gisborne District Council have contributed to the project. Council staff and contractors have provided support with plants, and advice, and with mowing, removing green waste. 

History of the trail

Hospital Hill was the site of the former Cook Hospital, demolished in 1988. Much of the building rubble, including asbestos, was pushed into the gully now part of a Gisborne District Council Reserve. The landfill has been covered by soil. In 1990, a 38,000m3 concrete water reservoir was built where part of the hospital had been. Depending on demand, this holds about three days of water supply for Gisborne. 

In late October 2023, Gisborne District Council closed the reserve after asbestos was found in the area. Heavy rain events earlier in the year caused slips in two areas of the gardens, displacing soil and exposing the contents of the landfill underneath.

Ray Gowland, Tūranga Lions, and other volunteers have worked for more than 20 years developing Tūranga Gardens. The area remains closed while the Council considers the future of the site, and remediation costs involved.

Tips & Logistics

Hospital Road, Hillview Terrace, the Elizabeth Williams Walkway, and the Valley Road back entrance to the old Cook Hospital (the route the hearses took), make a popular circuit walk or cycle ride when the Barkers Hill shared path to Massey Road is included - a circuit of a little over 4km. This circuit can still be followed with the Elizabeth Williams Walkway being bypassed while the reserve remains closed.