Discover the beautiful country gardens of the Waikato, Hawkes Bay, Northern Wairarapa and Manawatu. Stay in Masterton and Feilding, both winners of town beauty contests, and enjoy the fun of the fair at Cross Hills Gardens.
What Ena loves about this tour:
We’re following a garden trail along country lanes to discover special historic homes and hidden gems. There’s lots of natural beauty to enjoy – relaxing over a garden lunch with our hosts or wandering the paths at the Cross Hills Gardens Country Fair.
7 Day / 6 Night Tour departing Auckland, Taupo, Masterton, Feilding & Tongariro National Park with a visit to the Cross Hills Gardens Country Fair
We visit renowned Hamilton Gardens and lunch with Jeanette and Stephen Williams at Moondance Manor and enjoy their expansive garden.
Near Wairakei we call into Linda Peat and Tim Birdsall’s Tullamore Garden where miniature Galloway cattle graze. We stay at the Millennium Hotel & Resort, Manuels on Taupo’s lakeside and dine in tonight.
Day 2: Taupo - Trelinnoe Park - Napier - Eketahuna - Masterton
Close to the Taupo/Napier road Bruce Wills' Trelinnoe Park has a wonderful diversity of plants from the Himalayas to Brazil. In Eketahuna we visit Warren and Robyn Walker’s Braemore Farm Garden which features a cottage garden, around the house, an avery, mature trees, rhododendrons and hostas, a large pond and wilderness.
We stay two nights in Masterton at the Copthorne Hotel & Resort, Solway Park and dine in this evening.
Day 3: Brancepeth & Te Parae Homesteads, Wainuioru - Dursley Garden
Edward Beetham guides us through Brancepeth his family’s homestead, gardens and farm buildings dating back to the 1850s. We lunch nearby with Angela Williams at Te Parae homestead built in 1905 which shares family history with Brancepeth. The house and garden are set around a large lake. Thoroughbred horse breeding is a family tradition.
Later we meet Judith Callaghan at her big and colourful country garden, Dursley, designed by Alfred Buxton in 1916.
Day 4: Masterton - Woodville - Lansdale, Kairanga - Feilding
Masterton is the home of the Golden Shears championship so naturally we visit the town's Wool Museum. Then we stop by Glenn McDean's and Roger Musgrove’s Sarah Jones garden in Woodville. Nearby Saddle Road climbs upwards to the Te Apiti wind farm stretching along the ridge. We lunch at the Buxton designed garden, Lansdale in Kairanga, still tended by the original owner's family.
We stay two nights at South Street West Motel.
What you'll love today
Cross the Saddle road and see the famous Manawatu wind farm
Another famous MoaTours home hosted lunch near Feilding
A local farmer guides us through Feilding’s historic sale yards. We visit Lynne Atkin’s wonderful Greenhaugh Gardens surrounding the homestead built in 1874 and lunch at Su Pendergast’s Wakefields Lodge where rhododendrons and prunus are flowering.
We end the day at Caroline Van der Haas’ picturesque house and garden and special gift shop.
Day 6: Feilding - Cross Hills Gardens Country Fair - Chateau Tongariro
We visit Heritage Park Rhododendron Garden which is maintained by volunteers. At Cross Hills Gardens’ Country Fair 180 stalls showcase unique and New Zealand–made products displayed in Rodney and Faith Wilson’s magnificent 7ha garden of 2000 rhododendrons and azaleas.
In the afternoon we drive the scenic Ruahine Road to Mangaweka and on to Ohakune to stay at The Chateau Tongariro Hotel where we dine in this evening.
What you'll love today
All the fun of the Cross Hills Gardens' Country Fair
Enjoy your last night in style at the Chateau Tongariro
Day 7: Tongariro National Park - Parkwood Garden - Crosshills Farm - Tree Church - Auckland
If it’s a clear day we drive to the Top o’ the Bruce on Mt Ruapehu to enjoy the amazing view and volcanic landscape. Sweeping lawns and colourful borders feature in Ailsa and Carey Sanson’s 10 year old Parkwood Garden near Otorohanga.
We lunch at Debbie and Fraser Robertson’s Crosshills Farm and visit Barry Cox's unique Tree Church garden at Ohaupo on the way back to Auckland.