Taranaki Garden Festival - a 5 day New Zealand Tour
Day 1 - Today we hit the road and head west, through the Waikato and King Country regions as we head to Taranaki. Our first stop will be a welcoming ‘cuppa’ on the way - before continuing on to Te Kuiti for our scheduled lunch stop. Chance here for you to see the Colin Meads statue, this legendary All Black is the favourite son of this small King Country town. Further on, we hit the rugged west coast near Mokau, time perhaps for some whitebait fritters! before we begin a splendid drive down the coast to New Plymouth, where we will be based for the next 3 nights.
Tonight, we enjoy dinner at our city central 4 star hotel, at their number 1 rated (by TripAdvisor) restaurant.
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. Today we will focus on private gardens in the Waitara area where we have selected 5 great gardens to enjoy, before heading back to the city to visit a very famous local landmark garden with an interesting history before ending the day with an unusual suprise visit.
This evening we enjoy another lovely dinner in New Plymouth, and look forward to another day of exploring more gardens tomorrow.
During our visit to the Garden Festival we will also visit the 3 main public gardens of Pukekura Park, Pukeiti and Tupare.
Join us and visit one of New Zealand's iconic garden festivals on our 5 day tour to the Taranaki Garden Festival....
This world renowned event showcases stunning public and private gardens of New Plymouth and the region. We will visit some fantastic gardens as part of the Taranaki Garden Festival (previously the Rhododendron Festival). This is not just a tour for those with ‘green fingers’ as we have a great program planned to see many of the other local highlights as well. Enjoy some great scenery as we travel across the country to Whanganui for our first night and then on to New Plymouth for 3 nights.
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 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
You will see:
Stunning scenery throughout
Amazing gardens and scenery
The Tongariro National Park
Taranaki and The King Country
Single room supplement $ 395
Day 3 - Today we are off early to explore a variety of interesting gardens.
Before leaving the city though, 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 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 head west towards Cape Egmont to visit 2 more gardens close to the coast, along the way chance to see more of the famous "Naki" lush farmland, 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.
Tonight we will dine at our hotel restaurant for the last time.
Day 4 - Today we depart New Plymouth to make our way inland along the ‘Forgotten Highway’ to the Tongariro National Park.
With a small Stratford town garden to visit first, we then stop to see the famous Stratford clock chime at 10am before visiting another outstanding private garden which has been created from a simple farm paddock into a feast for the eyes. We continue along SH43 and visit another kiwi icon - the Whangamomona Hotel for lunch (included) and an opportunity to hear from the locals why they declared themselves a republic.
Continuing north through this remote area to Taumarunui, stopping along the way at a lavender farm for an afternoon cuppa, we head towards the volcanic peaks of the central plateau and the Tongariro National Park, New Zealand’s oldest national park, and also a UNESCO World Heritage Area, with stunning scenery and the skyline dominated by the 3 volcanoes of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu.
Our resting place tonight is at a lakeside hotel in Taupo, time to relax and reflect on the stunning gardens we have visited on our trip to Taranaki.
Day 5 - After our last breakfast together over looking the expanse of Lake Taupo, with views of the central plateau snow capped peaks to the south, we head to Rotorua and home, taking time on the journey for lunch and a few other stops along the way. The Hinterland team will have you home mid-afternoon, having enjoyed a wonderful trip to see some amazing gardens.
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.