Eastwoodhill Arboretum - National Arboretum of New Zealand

Eastwoodhill Arboretum features the largest collection of Northern Hemisphere trees in the Southern Hemisphere. They have recently gained status as the National Arboretum of New Zealand, and therefore also wanted to raise their web profile, improving it from their 5 year old site to a new site that embraced all that Eastwoodhill is.

Because of all the amazing things to see and do at Eastwoodhill, it was no surprise that the project quickly ballooned into a large site to encompass it all. The web site covers all the main features and information on the park and also includes a lot of extras.

Perhaps the most visually noticeable feature is the seasonal colour scheme. Each time a new season rolls over, the whole theme of the web site is automatically updated to be in keeping with what is happening with the weather outside. Each theme is also viewable by visiting each different Seasonal Highlights page.

The focus of the site design was on embracing the feel of the park while you are there and therefore make a visit to the site a taster experience. So after a lovely trip to Gisborne and the Arboretum, we were able to tackle the design armed with a lot of beautiful imagery. By having a large image on the left of the screen, we were able to utilise the impressive photographs while still keeping file size acceptable for the large number of visitors on slow dial-up connections. Plant and garden elements were incorporated into the header and footer space to give a feeling of being at the park surrounded by foliage. Colours for the page were chosen directly from the seasonal imagery to capture the true colours of the season.

Another feature is the interactive map which allows users to explore the park before they even arrive. Visitors can hover over an area, and by clicking on an area they follow through to information and imagery from that section of the park.

A real plus for botanists and arborists is the searchable collection, herbarium and endangered tree list. Each search follows a simple step process where you can click through to find information. Every tree within the Arboretum has been noted and information stored on the database which is kept up to date on the web site - guaranteeing the most up to date record of which trees are in the park. The herbarium search is particularly useful for students and the endangered tree list raises international awareness on trees at risk.

And behind all of these features is Heliocell's latest WebDIY content management system which allows Eastwoodhill to maintain their site frequently and cost effectively.

Screenshot of Eastwoodhill in Spring theme

Autumn season page and colour scheme

Cursor over the Douglas Park section of the map