Taranaki Rhododendron Gardens

Taranaki Rhododendron Gardens

6 day small group Taranaki garden tour

This garden tour makes the most of New Plymouth while the rhododendrons are blooming. Enjoy the endless variety of individual gardens and meet their passionate owners. Wander magnificent Pukeiti and Tupare House and Garden with private guides. Other highlights include Heritage Park Rhododendron Garden and Cross Hills Gardens in Kimbolton, Manawatu.

WHAT TRACY LOVES ABOUT THIS TOUR: Enjoy Taranaki’s beauty ahead of the festival crowds when the gardens are fresh and the gardeners too! I especially like having the gardeners and the gardens completely to ourselves. And along the way we enjoy the warmth and hospitality of three private farmhouse lunches.

  • $3,090 (NZD) pp twin
  • $3,490 (NZD) pp single

Day 1

Auckland - Piopio - New Plymouth

We travel through the Waikato farmlands and stop for lunch with Rachel and Denzil Anselmi at Carmel Farm in Piopio. Continuing through the limestone country of the Awakino Gorge we drive out to the Tasman coast.

Reaching New Plymouth we visit John Wilmshurst and Diana Montgomery’s Waiongana Gardens.

Your home for three nights, the Millennium Hotel New Plymouth Waterfront, is just across from Len Lye’s Wind Wand kinetic sculpture and the waterfront boardwalk. We dine in at the hotel’s Salt restaurant.

  • Lunch with Rachel Anselmi at Carmel Farm, Piopio
  • John Wilmshurst & Diana Montgomery’s Waiongana Gardens

Accommodation

Waterfront Hotel, New Plymouth

The Millennium Hotel New Plymouth Waterfront

The Millennium Hotel New Plymouth Waterfront is New Plymouth’s only seaside luxury accommodation in the heart of the CBD, featuring unrivalled views of the Tasman Sea. Located opposite the Coastal Foreshore Walkway. 

What we love about The Millennium Hotel New Plymouth Waterfront – The best location in New Plymouth. Start you day with a relaxing walk along the boardwalk opposite the hotel and soak up the sea air.

Day 2

Hirst Cottage - Te Kainga Marire - Tupare House and Garden

We meet Judi Gopperth at sweet Hirst Cottage, built in 1862, where the garden features a green and white theme and Valda Poletti at renowned Te Kainga Marire, a native garden of International Significance.

See the kinetic sculptures at the Len Lye Centre and lunch next door at Monica’s. This afternoon meet our guide at Tupare House and stroll in the stunning landscaped gardens.

  • Valda Poletti’s renowned Te Kainga Marire
  • Guided visit to Tupare House and Garden

Accommodation

Waterfront Hotel, New Plymouth

The Millennium Hotel New Plymouth Waterfront

The Millennium Hotel New Plymouth Waterfront is New Plymouth’s only seaside luxury accommodation in the heart of the CBD, featuring unrivalled views of the Tasman Sea. Located opposite the Coastal Foreshore Walkway. 

What we love about The Millennium Hotel New Plymouth Waterfront – The best location in New Plymouth. Start you day with a relaxing walk along the boardwalk opposite the hotel and soak up the sea air.

Day 3

Pukeiti - Hikurangi - Oakley Garden - Sanderson Garden

We meet our guide at Pukeiti and wander the enchanted landscape of one of the world’s greatest collections of rhododendrons growing in lush rainforest on the slopes of Mt Taranaki.

Travelling the picturesque country roads on the western, seaward-facing slopes of the mountain we visit Maureen Brophy’s Hikurangi, a large garden centred around a pond. Further south we meet Guy and Jenny Oakley and then Elaine Sanderson in her farmhouse garden, both are New Zealand Gardens Trust 5 Star gardens.

We return to New Plymouth in the late afternoon and dine in this evening.

  • Pukeiti, 360-hectares of rhododendrons in the rainforest
  • Hikurangi, a 7 acre, richly planted, park-like garden

Accommodation

Waterfront Hotel, New Plymouth

The Millennium Hotel New Plymouth Waterfront

The Millennium Hotel New Plymouth Waterfront is New Plymouth’s only seaside luxury accommodation in the heart of the CBD, featuring unrivalled views of the Tasman Sea. Located opposite the Coastal Foreshore Walkway. 

What we love about The Millennium Hotel New Plymouth Waterfront – The best location in New Plymouth. Start you day with a relaxing walk along the boardwalk opposite the hotel and soak up the sea air.

Day 4

Pukekura Park - Cairnhill Garden - Puketarata - Gravetye - Whanganui

We stroll in city treasure, Pukekura Park then drive to the start of the Forgotten World Highway to Cairnhill Garden to meet June and Colin Lees and enjoy their large rhododendron and vibernum garden. In Hawera we visit Jenny and John Pease’s Gravetye Garden, with sweeping lawns, hedges and topiary.

We visit Jennifer and Ken Horner’s country garden, Puketarata set high on a hill with magnificent views then continue on to Whanganui. We tour the city’s landmarks and dine out this evening.

  • Enjoy morning tea with June and Colin at Cairnhill Garden
  • Gravetye and Puketarata gardens in Hawera

Accommodation

Studio Room at Aotea Lodge in Whanganui

Whanganui - Aotea Lodge

The Aotea Lodge is ideally located close to the city center and Whanganui’s main street, Victoria Avenue which provides easy access to many local points of interest. 

What we love about the Aotea Lodge – Stroll out on the flat to enjoy the many boutique shopping options that Whanganui has to offer.

Day 5

Whanganui - Heritage Park - Cross Hills Gardens - Taihape - Ohakune

We visit two gems in Kimbolton, Manawatu – the Heritage Park Rhododendron Garden, maintained by volunteers, and the Wilson family’s Cross Hills Gardens. There are seven hectares of park like grounds with a renowned collection of over 2000 rhododendrons and azaleas. Further colour is added by tree paeonies, candelabra primulas and perennials.

Continuing north to the Central Plateau, we dine and stay this evening at the Powderhorn Chateau, Ohakune.

  • Cross Hills Gardens’ rhododendron and azalea collection
  • Stay at the Powderhorn Chateau at the foot of Mt Ruapehu

Accommodation

Ruapehu - Powderhorn Chateau

RUAPEHU - POWDERHORN CHATEAU

The Powderhorn Chateau is a boutique accommodation, located in Ohakune at the foot of Mt Ruapehu.

What we love about the Ruapehu Region – we love staying amidst the stunning volcanic landscapes of the Ruapehu Region and Tongariro National Park, New Zealand’s oldest national park.

Day 6

Ohakune - Bradley's Garden - Omaka Lodge - Aramatai Garden - Auckland

In Taumarunui we meet Melana and Simon at Bradley’s Garden, with nine distinct garden areas, including Italian and cottage gardens. We call into Omaka Lodge nearby where Christopher Riches and Scott Riches-McPherson have created a country garden with expansive views.

We lunch with Jill Mouat at lovely Aramatai Garden near Te Kuiti where colourful borders are centred around a pond, before returning to Auckland.

  • Bradley’s Garden and Omaka Lodge in Taumarunui
  • Lunch with Jill Mouat at Aramatai Garden

Next departures

Tour DatePrice (from)Availability
14 Oct 2024 - 19 Oct 2024
$3,090 (NZD)
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18 Oct 2024 - 23 Oct 2024
$3,090 (NZD)
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21 Oct 2024 - 26 Oct 2024
$3,090 (NZD)
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Please contact us if you have any questions about our tour departure dates.

Tour DatePrice (from)Availability
14 Oct 2024 - 19 Oct 2024
$3,090 (NZD)
Sorry it's full
Enquire
18 Oct 2024 - 23 Oct 2024
$3,090 (NZD)
Sorry it's full
Enquire
21 Oct 2024 - 26 Oct 2024
$3,090 (NZD)
Filling up
Enquire
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