Taranaki Garden Festival - a new 5 day New Zealand Tour
Day 1 - Today we hit the road and head south with our first stop for a welcoming ‘cuppa’ at one of our favourite cafes just an hour away from Tauranga - chance to get to know our travelling companions, before continuing on to Taupo for our included lunch today.
Suitably refreshed we head around the stunning Lake Taupo before taking the direct route through the Tongariro National Park towards Whanganui. With amazing views of the volcanic peaks New Zealands first National Park, we travel through forests and farmland into the remote farming country around Raetihi, where we have a short stop.
Tonight, we enjoy dinner together at our Whanganui city central hotel.
Day 2 - The Taranaki Garden Festival was established in 1987 and the region is home to some of New Zealand’s most spectacular public and private gardens. Our trip is all about exploring many of the gardens and homesteads in the area.
Departing Whanganui, we head west through the extensive coastal farmlands towards New Plymouth, but first we make a visit to one of New Zealand's most impressive private museums, The Tawhiti Museum. The Museum is a truly unique enterprise and is the creation of artist Nigel Ogle, its attention to detail is simply stunning. Now widely acclaimed as one of the most innovative museums in New Zealand, Tawhiti uses life size exhibits and scale models to capture the past in a series of super-realistic displays, all designed and built on the premises.
Chance for lunch here before continuing on to New Plymouth with the first of our gardens visits along the way this afternoon, before checking into our hotel. Tonight we dine at its highly rated The Orangery restaurant, voted the best restaurant in New Plymouth on TripAdvisor. With 3 nights here you will have plenty of opportunity to give your own reviews.
Join our new tour itinerary to one of New Zealand's iconic garden festivals , the Taranaki Garden Festival....
This world renowned event showcases stunning public and private gardens of New Plymouth and the Taranaki region. With our new route this year we have our first night in Whanganui, travelling through the Tongariro National Park on the way. On day two we visit the Tawhiti Museum in Hawera on the way to New Plymouth for three nights at the Plymoth International Hotel. We include all the best private gardens, hosted by their enthusiastic gardeners, as well as many world renowned public gardens.
5 days on tour
4 nights quality accommodation
3 nights in New Plymouth
1 night in Whanganui
Door to door service (Tauranga area)
Quality air-conditioned vehicle
Full commentary by your guide
All dinners and one lunch
Breakfasts each day
The Tawhiti Museum at Hawera
Visit to Pukekura Park Gardens
Visit to Pukeiti Gardens
Visit to Tupare Gardens
Visits to private homesteads & gardens
All garden entry charges
You will see:
Stunning scenery throughout
Amazing gardens and scenery
The Tongariro National Park
Taranaki and The King Country
The Whanganui River
Single room supplement $ 395
Day 3 - Today we are off early to explore a variety of interesting gardens.
Our first visit is to the Tupare homestead and garden situated on the outskirts of the city. Tupare is an arts and crafts inspired property with secluded gardens and elegant borders. A real delight is wandering the winding paths cut out of the hill-side leading to surprising vistas and intimate garden rooms. In addition to the beautiful hard landscaping, stately plantings of trees create shelter and a very magical atmosphere.
Leaving the city we head out to the lower slopes of Mount Taranaki to see how the unique local climate offers gardeners an ideal opportunity to create some amazing gardens. We have selected the best to showcase a range of garden styles as we begin on the northern side of the mountain before heading to the world famous Pukeiti Garden, which is also our location for lunch (your cost) at the aptly named Rainforest Eatery.
Pukeiti hosts one of the world’s biggest collections of rhododendrons, as well as 360 hectares of exotic and native species, so all interests will be catered for here. Pukeiti's flowering season starts in July when the first of the giants awake; large-leaf rhododendrons flowering amongst the rainforest canopy - one of the finest collections anywhere. Camellias and large magnolias follow and by October the garden is alive with colour from flower and foliage with complementary herbaceous plantings - alpines, primulas, hostas and bulb varieties all on display.
After lunch we visit 2 or 3 more gardens before heading back to New Plymouth for a late afternoon stroll through the extensive Pukekura Park.
Pukekura Park spans 52 hectares in the heart of New Plymouth and is a nationally significant park with a large exotic specimen tree collection, inter-planted within an area of luxuriant native bush. Highlights are the native orchid and fern collections housed in a partially sunken conservatory. With many special display gardens, all with the stunning backdrop and views of Mount Taranaki, this is a must see destination.
Then its back to our hotel to freshen up before another lovely meal in The Orangery.
Day 4 - On our final day in New Plymouth we have a great selection of gardens in and around the city, each carefully chosen to offer a range of garden styles. Every year there are many new additions to the festival program and we work with the festival managers to find the best ones.
As soon as the full program is released we will update the web site to give details of the gardens we have selected. All garden entry charges are included in the tour cost.
If you would like some time out to do your own thing, then today is your opportunity. New Plymouth has a number of highlights and we can drop you off in the city first thing or at lunchtime to wander as you wish. Our hotel is a 10 to 15 minute walk from the central city. Some popular destinations are the Puke Ariki Museum, the Govett Brewster Art Gallery and Len Lye Centre, the Wind Wand on the waterfront.
This eveing we will enjoy our final dinner together at The Orangery restaurant.
Day 5 - After our last breakfast together we depart New Plymouth for our drive North back to Tauranga. Our route innitially follows the coastline to the small settlement of Mokau, famous for its fresh Whitebait. We take a break here to sample this New Zealand delicacy (if you wish) and to have a look around the small museum, full of interesting artifacts, a real step back in time.
Continuing onwards, our route takes us through extensive and rugged farmland to our lunch stop today at TeKuiti. Situated in the heartland of the King Country, Te Kuiti is best known as the sheep shearing capital of the world and the giant shearer and sheep makes for a great selfie! For Rugby fans the statue of local TeKuiti resident Sir Colim Meads is another great photo opportunity.
Following our lunch stop we continue on to Tauranga, arriving home early evening.
All Hinterland multi-day tours can be taken by clients from any region of New Zealand or Australia. Please contact us for details. Additional charges may apply.
* Please note, that unless specified in the itinerary we do not usually include the cost of lunches or morning and afternoon tea stops in the tour cost, but we always make stops where there are a range of options available so you can choose what you want, and have flexibility to do things on your own if you wish.