Taranaki Rhododendron Gardens - MTR

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Mike and Stephie
Oct 27, 2020

5 Day / 4 Night tour visiting the best Rhododendron Gardens in the central North Island with stays in New Plymouth, Whanganui and Tongariro National Park.

This New Zealand garden tour makes the most of New Plymouth during full rhododendron bloom. Meet private gardeners, wander magnificent Pukeiti and visit the exhibits in the unique Tawhiti Museum. Other highlights include visits to Hawera, Whanganui, Cross Hills garden and the Chateau Tongariro. This small group tour focuses on showcasing the most beautiful gardens of the North Island.

Itinerary

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 & Diana Montgomery's 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.

What you'll love today

  • Travel the scenic Awakino Gorge to the Tasman coast
  • John Wilmshurst & Diana Montgomery's Waiongana Gardens

Accommodation - NEW PLYMOUTH - THE WATERFRONT HOTEL

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. We dine back in your hotel.


What you'll love today

  • Pukeiti is a 360-hectare rainforest located between Mount Taranaki and the scenic west coast
  • The outstanding Len Lye Centre

Accommodation - NEW PLYMOUTH - THE WATERFRONT HOTEL

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 large country garden, Puketarata set high on a hill with magnificent views before driving to Whanganui. We tour the city landmarks before checking into our hotel, The Quality Inn Collegiate.

What you'll love today

  • We explore and lunch at unique Tawhiti museum in Hawera
  • Cairnhill Garden, Pukekura Park and Puketarata, iconic Taranaki gardens

Accommodation - WHANGANUI - QUALITY INN COLLEGIATE

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 we head into the dramatic landscape of the Central Plateau and around the slopes of Mount Ruapehu to Ohakune and on to Whakapapa village and The Chateau Tongariro Hotel in Tongariro National Park. We dine this evening in this classic, landmark hotel.

What you'll love today

  • Cross Hills Garden rhododendron and azalea collection at the Wilson's farm
  • At the Chateau Tongariro enjoy the stunning views, four-star service and ambience of this classic hotel

Accommodation - TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK - CHATEAU TONGARIRO

Day 5: The Chateau Tongariro - Aramatai Gardens - Crosshills - Auckland

If the weather allows, 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.

What you'll love today

  • We drive up to the Top of the Bruce for views of Mount Ruapehu and the Central Plateau
  • In Kio Kio we lunch with Debbie Robertson at her Crosshills garden

General Inclusions:

  • All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
  • Services of your knowledgeable MoaTours guide.
  • Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place".

All meals are included:

  • All breakfasts (B).
  • All lunches(L) including special lunches with: Debbie Robertson at her Crosshills Farm garden, Kio Kio; Rachel and Denzil Anselmi's Carmel Farm garden.
  • All dinners(D) including dinner at: The Chateau Tongariro, Tongariro National Park.

All Activities and entrance fees are included

  • Visit John Wilmshurst & Diana Montgomery at Waiongana Gardens on the riverside.
  • Meet Judi Gopperth at Hirst Cottage, where the garden features a green and white theme.
  • Meet Valda Poletti at Te Kainga Marire, a native garden of Global Significance.
  • Visit Tupare House and Garden.
  • At Pukeiti one of the world’s greatest collections of rhododendrons.
  • Meet June and Colin Lees at Cairnhill Garden.
  • Jenny and John Pease's Gravetye Garden, a formal garden with hedges and topiary.
  • Explore Nigel Ogle's unique creation Tawhiti Museum.
  • Jennifer and Ken Horner's large country garden, Puketarata.
  • Wilson family's Cross Hills garden, 7 hectares of park like grounds.
  • Enjoy the stunning views from The Chateau Tongariro.
  • Visit Jill Mouat's five acre Aramatai Gardens and ponds.
  • Crosshills farm garden just north of Otorohanga.

Included Sightseeing and Exploring

  • Travel through the heart of the Waikato dairy farmlands.
  • Drive through the limestone country of the Awakino Gorge.
  • Len Lye’s Wind Wand kinetic sculpture on the New Plymouth waterfront.
  • See lush rainforest on the lower slopes of Mt Taranaki.
  • Tour the city landmarks and heritage buildings of Whanganui.
  • The dramatic landscape of the Central Plateau.
  • Take the mountain road to the Top of the Bruce to enjoy a snowy panorama.

Tour Dates:

October to November. Starting from $3,190. Single supplement $650.

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