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Parks, gardens and reserves

Parks for all to enjoy!

We manage more than 110 parks and reserves throughout the district as well as maintaining public gardens, trees, walkways and other open spaces. In total we look after more than 3,000 street trees and 1,200ha of parks!


With over 50 playgrounds scattered around the district, you should never be far from a place for the kids to let off steam. Check out our playground map for details.


We have barbecues available at several of our sites:

  • East End Reserve has a free gas barbecue near Buller Street.
  • Marine Park/Otupaiia in Waitara has eight free electric barbeques (two double hotplates and four single barbeques).
  • Audrey Gale Reserve in Merrilands has several wood fired barbecues (you need to supply your own wood).

Open fires are not permitted but you're welcome to bring portable gas barbecues where the flame is contained. Please check that gas bottles and fittings are safe.

Larger and organised gatherings

Larger and organised activities might need to be booked so that we don’t overload the area, especially if there’ll be noise, supply of alcohol or impact on the general public. Even if you book, the public are still able to enter parks and reserves.

Whether you are having a family picnic or a larger organised gathering, remember:

  • Be considerate: The park is for everyone.
  • Take your rubbish with you and recycle your waste where possible.
  • Signs, banners, and guy ropes can’t be attached to any tree or structure and should not cause a trip hazard.
  • A 3m x 3m gazebo can be used, but larger structures can’t as they can restrict public access to the reserve.
  • A small number of chairs and tables can be used: safety is your responsibility.

If you’re planning an event for a New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) park or reserve, please get in touch on 06 759 6060 to find out the dos and don’ts – we’re here to help, so why not get out in the fresh air and enjoy one of our wonderful parks.

Children at Pukekura Park.

Discover a park

This is just a handful of the parks and reserves you can explore in the New Plymouth area.

Report a Problem 

We take pride in having well-maintained parks and facilities. If you notice dumped rubbish, damage to plants, trees, playgrounds, seats and picnic tables or dirty toilets please contact us.

Lost property and willful damage
Please contact the police in the first instance, then us.

Lend a hand in your local park

Shovel and spade work isn’t for everyone. There are a range of jobs that could help such as clearing weeds, picking up rubbish, taking photos, designing newsletters, taking care of health and safety procedures.

There might be a community group up and running in your neighbourhood that you would like to join or talk to us about starting one in a park near you.

To volunteer please fill in the following form and a parks officer will be in touch shortly to discuss opportunities.

Application to Volunteer - NPDC Parks

Organise a litter clean-up

Parks for everyone

Our parks and reserves are places for everyone to enjoy. We want them to be safe, accessible and beautiful. To make sure they are we have a few guidelines.

Please don't:

  • Play golf in our parks.
  • Camp. For information on where you can camp see freedom camping.
  • Light open fires.
  • Take plants. We are happy to provide the names of plants for you.

  • Dump rubbish.

  • Smoke. We are proud to be smokefree. 

  • Fish for eels. It is illegal to hunt for eels within Pukekura Park (The Reserves Act 1977, Field Section 50 Taking or Killing of Fauna) unless authorised by the Park Curator. If you find someone fishing for eels, please contact us. We will investigate the incident and report back.

  • Feed bread to animals. Our fish, eels and feathered friends might like to share your lunch or eat leftover bread. However, this can cause them health problems, and uneaten food can affect the water quality and attract pests. Please only feed our animal friends foods that they might find naturally. Wild bird seed is available in many shops and supermarkets and is much healthier than bread and other processed foods.

Mountain bike riding
In general, mountain bike riding is not allowed in our parks; however, recreational bike riding is permitted on the Coastal Walkway and in some parks. Please check the signs in each park to be sure and always ride with consideration for other park users. There are extensive mountain bike tracks at Lake Mangamahoe.

In many of our parks, playgrounds and beaches dogs need to be walked on a leash, and in some places they are not allowed at all. Please check our Walking your dog map for details of where you can and can't take your dogs, and where they need to be on a leash.