Taranaki Rhododendron Gardens


    enquire now From NZD $2,190 pp twinshare
    Terms & Conditions apply

    $2490 (NZD) pp single

    Visit the best Rhododendron Gardens in the central North Island with stays in New Plymouth, Whanganui and Tongariro National Park

    Day 1: Auckland – Piopio – New Plymouth
    We travel through the Waikato farmlands and stop for lunch 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 Waiongana Gardens.  Your home for two nights, The Waterfront Hotel, is just across from Len Lye’s Wind Wand kinetic sculpture and the waterfront boardwalk. We dine in at the hotel’s Salt restaurant. (L, D)

    Day 2: New Plymouth Gardens
    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 Global Significance. We visit Tupare House and its beautiful garden then lunch at Monica’s Eatery and visit the adjacent Len Lye Centre.  At Pukeiti wander the enchanted landscape of one of the world’s greatest collections of rhododendrons growing in lush rainforest on the slopes of Mt Taranaki. Buggy transport is available to take you around the pathways. (B, L, D)

    Day 3: New Plymouth – Cairnhill Garden – Hawera gardens – Whanganui
    We visit Pukekura Park then drive to the start of the Forgotten World Highway to Cairnhill Garden to meet June and Colin Lees and stroll in their large rhododendron and vibernum garden. In Hawera we visit Jenny and John Pease’s Gravetye Garden, with sweeping lawns, hedges and topiary.  We explore Nigel Ogle’s unique creation Tawhiti Museum and visit Jennifer and Ken Horner’s country garden, Puketarata set high on a hill with magnificent views. We arrive in Whanganui. and tour the city’s landmarks. (B, L, D)

    Day 4: Whanganui – Cross Hills Garden – Taihape – Ruapehu
    We drive over to Kimbolton in the Manawatu region to discover another gem on our New Zealand garden tour. The Wilson family’s Cross Hills garden boasts 7 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 skirt around the slopes of Mount Ruapehu to Whakapapa village and The Chateau Tongariro Hotel in Tongariro National Park. (B, L, D)

    Day 5: The Chateau Tongariro – Aramatai Gardens – Crosshills – Auckland
    If the weather is kind we drive up the mountain road to the Top of the Bruce for a close up view of Mt Ruapehu and panoramic views of the region. Then we’re bound for Taumarunui and Jill and Leo Mouat’s Aramatai gardens then on to Crosshills Farm, north of Otorohanga where our private lunch is hosted by Debbie Robertson.  After lunch we drive north through the Waikato to Auckland. (B, L, D)

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