So it was rather ironic that since we moved to the Waikato we hadn't visited once. Until our lovely family from Australia arrived for Christmas that is. We agreed to meet up at Hamilton Gardens for a picnic first and a walk afterwards.
For the first time we had another little cutie Maia walking with us - she was most insistent that it was the 'boys' who held her hand and nobody else.
We had the best weather for the day - blue skies and warm temperatures.
On a warm day there's nothing like little snippets of water here and there to keep one cool.
Or you could just get in boots and all?!
'Statue bro?' (reminds me of a bad Maori joke - it's meant to be the way Maori's would say 'is that you brother?)
Someone couldn't help cracking a smile - not very statue like at all!
Kim and Maia were busy spotting fish in the Japanese gardens - but the water was pretty gunky and no fish anywhere to be found.
Little feet don't like hanging in one spot too long so it was onwards to the English country garden.
And around the corner, more water. Surprisingly there were actually a few fish to be found in this pond.
A three leaf clover makes a pretty good resting spot for little legs.
Blue skies made lovely reflections of the pagoda and round wall in the Chinese garden.
By the time we made it to the American modernist garden all and sundry were ready to go for a paddle.
After the simplicity of the American garden, the Indian garden is a crazy explosion of the senses - almost to much to take in.
And for the grand finale our last stop was at the brand new Tudor garden - it's impressive in it's orderliness - very English and even cooler that the house is modelled on a similar one at Montacute House - which is literally minutes down the road from where Mark grew up in Somerset.
A wonderful family afternoon walking round and round the gardens - no teddy bears were caught by the end of it though!