Although the country settlement of Whitford has seen many changes since the first European settlers arrived in 1843 it has still managed to retain a rustic charm. You will find yourself in "serious" horse country here with a very active pony club, stables and stud farms gracing the landscape.
The village is a service centre for the surrounding farms and life-style properties.
The Whitford Country Club offers a picturesque 18 hole golf course where visitors are very welcome, the "Whitford Bird Garden" is a must to visit, as is one of New Zealand's best known private gardens "Ayrlies".
Situated in gently rolling country, Ayrlies is one of New Zealand's best known gardens.
The site is windy and is coastal clay. It had its beginnings in 1964, when the foresight of Bev McConnell saw past the bare land. The garden is now 12 acres of rolling terrain, some step and with steps.
It is characterised by sweeping lawns, informal but detailed plantings, and by ponds and waterways. A strong but sensitive use of colour is a hallmark of Arylies seen best in the Lurid Border where 'hot' colours are used to great effect and in other areas where old roses, clematis and perennials are combined in romantic profusion.
Address :125 Potts Road, Whitford
Further information: www.ayrlies.co.nz
In pre-European times, Maori used the waterways in the area as transportation routes to access various settlements and resources. Behind the township, the wharf on Turanga Creek, was once a bustling hive of activity. A regular passenger boat service and mail delivery from Auckland operated from 1848 to 1927 until improved roading put an end to this more leisurely mode of transport and commerce.
Opposite the hall, on the corner of Wharf and Whitford Roads, is the village's former general store built in 1910. Since ceasing business as a store in 1965, the building has had a chequered career having been, at various times, a private residence, an art and craft shop, saddlery and, since 1986, a licensed restaurant.