This tour makes the most of New Plymouth while the rhododendrons are in bloom. Enjoy the endless variety of individual gardens and meet the welcoming gardeners.
- All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
- Services of your knowledgeable guide.
- Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place".
• Lunch at Carmel Farm with Rachel Anselmi
• Meet John Wilmshurst and Diana Montgomery at beautiful Waiongana Gardens
• Meet Judi Gopperth at Hirst Cottage and garden
• Te Kainga Marire, a native garden of Global Significance
• Visit Tupare House and garden now restored to its former glory
• At Pukeiti see one of the world’s great rhododendron collections
• Lunch at Openlands garden with the Mills Family
• Visit Jenny and John Pease’s formal Gravetye Garden
• Wander the Horner’s country garden, Puketarata
• The Wilson family’s Cross Hills garden
• Visit Jill Mouat’s five acre Aramatai Gardens and ponds
• Lunch at Crosshills Garden with Debbie and Fraser Robertson
All meals are included in the tour cost, including:
Hosted lunch at Crosshills Farm
Hosted lunch at Carmel Farm
Hosted garden lunch at Openlands
All Activities & Entrance Fees Are Included
Day 1: Auckland – Piopio – Awakino Gorge – New Plymouth
We depart Auckland for Piopio where we have lunch with Rachel and Denzil Anselmi on their family farm. After lunch we travel through the Awakino Gorge and on to Waitara to visit Diana Montgomery and John Wilmshurst’s Waiongana Gardens, a beautiful 4 hectare riverside garden well known for its herbaceous peonies. Dine in and stay three nights at the Millennium Waterfront Hotel in New Plymouth.
Millennium Hotel New Plymouth Waterfront, 1 Egmont Street, New Plymouth, Phone 06 769 5301
Day 2: Hirst Cottage – Te Kainga Marire – Tupare – Len Lye Centre – Pukeiti
We visit Judi Gopperth at Hirst Cottage, Valda Poletti at Te Kainga Marire then Tupare House and garden. Lunch at Monica’s café and see kinetic sculptures at the Len Lye Centre and visit Pukeiti, one of the world’s greatest collections of rhododendrons.
Day 3: Farmhouse gardens – Hikurangi – Openlands
On the slopes of Mt Taranaki we visit expansive farmhouse gardens – Maureen Brophy’s Hikurangi and Maria van der Poel’s and Elaine Sanderson’s gardens. At Openlands we lunch with Marie Mills in a garden that includes a church, museum and an aviary.
Day 4: Pukekura Park – Cairnhill Garden – Whanganui
We stroll in Pukekura Park and have morning tea with June and Colin Lees at Cairnhill Garden at the start of the Forgotten World Highway. Near Hawera we visit Gravetye Garden and Puketarata. We stay at Aotea Motor Lodge in Whanganui and dine out this evening.
Aotea Motor Lodge, 390 Victoria Avenue, Whanganui Phone 06-345 0303
Day 5: Whanganui – Cross Hills Garden – Taihape – Chateau Tongariro
We check out the artisan shops in Whanganui then visit family-owned Cross Hills garden in Kimbolton. This large garden is renowned for its collection of over 2000 rhododendrons and azaleas. We dine and stay this evening at The Chateau Tongariro at the foot of Mt Ruapehu.
Chateau Tongariro, State Highway 48, Mt Ruapehu Phone:07-892 3809
Day 6: Chateau Tongariro – Aramatai – Crosshills - Auckland
If it’s a fine morning we head up the Top o’ the Bruce Road on Mt Ruapehu for the views. Near Taumarunui we meet Jill Mouat at Aramatai Gardens. North of Otorohanga we enjoy a private lunch at Crosshills Farm hosted by Debbie Robertson before returning to Auckland.