Grasslees Reserve

Located alongside the Tawa Valley Pathway, Ara Tawa, the reserve features a playground, a dog exercise area and electric barbecues amongst other facilities.

Woman, a boy and a little girl running alongside flower garden.

Location: Tawa

Entrance and exit points: Enter from Davies, Luckie or Oxford Streets.

Brief description: The park features

  • a play area with a mouse wheel, slide, and swings, including a giant swing for adults
  • a half basketball court
  • a dog exercise area
  • the Brian Webb Memorial Rose Garden
  • two electric barbecues
  • picnic areas
  • kids wheeled skate area for bikes, roller skates and scooters (the skate park is next door behind the pool)
  • public toilets
  • Tawa Pool.

The Tawa Valley Pathway, Ara Tawa, runs through the reserve.

Parking: Parking at the end of Davies, Luckie and Oxford Streets.

Accessibility: Flat, easy access, sealed pathways.

Dogs: Off-leash in exercise area and on-leash on shared path. No dogs in playground. The dog exercise area is fenced  from Main Road but is not fully fenced.

History: Grasslees Reserve was developed after Tawa Borough Council purchased the land in 1958. It contains a memorial to ethnographer Elsdon Best, one of New Zealand’s foremost writers on pre-European Māori life, who was born at the original Grasslees farm in 1856.

The area was upgraded in 2014. The Grasslees Reserve upgrade, funded through a $550,000 grant from the Charles Plimmer Bequest and $90,000 from Council budgets, joins the two halves of the park with a new bridge across Porirua Stream.

Natural elements are a feature of the park. Most of the playground materials are timber, and bark and sand are used instead of artificial surfaces.