Mt Lees Reserve
Developing Mount Lees was a lifelong project for Ormond Wilson who in December 1971 gifted the homestead block and bush to the Crown. Palmerston North City Council administered the property until around 1989 when the Manawatu District Council took over responsibility.
Keen to carry on Ormond Wilson's vision, the council has undertaken an extensive planting programme of its own which visitors to the 29.5ha reserve will see as they walk around the property.
Visitors will find a wide selection of native and exotic trees and shrubs. As the seaons change, Mount Lees presents many different faces.
Autumn is spectacular as the reserve's exotics prepare to shed their foliage.
Spring offers a magnificent display of magnolia flowers, blossom and carpets of forget-me-knots.
Mount Lees is renowned for its daffodils which are at their best in September/October.
October/November is the best time to see the primulas, honesty, cinerarias and the dove trees in flower.
The giant himalayan lily flower is as its perfumed best in December.
In January/February the reserve is filled with flowering blue and white agapanthus.
The bush at the reserve is rich in bird life. Many native birds inhabit the reserve - Kereru (wood pigeon), Morepork, Grey Warblers, Fantails, Tuis, Bellbirds, Wax Eyes and Kingfisher.
These include parking, picnic areas, toilets, childrens play areas and a Summerhouse.
Mount Lees is open to the public seven days a week from 9am to 5pm. There is no charge but donations are gratefully accepted.
It is close to the Rangitikei river for great trout fishing or for those with golf in mind, it's only a short drive to four rural golf courses.
The Summerhouse is available for group functions. It has two small out-buildings and a kitchen. Bookings are essential.
Manawatu District Council extends a warm welcome to visitors. Group parties such as gardening and horticultural clubs, education parties, conference tours, weddings and members of the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association are invited to contact Mount Lees () for further information.
Dogs are not allowed on the reserve.
Mt Lees Reserve is located at 199 Ngaio Road, only 6km from SH1, between Sanson and Bulls and within easy driving distance of Palmerston North and Feilding.