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Taranaki Rhododendron Gardens - Moa Tours

This New Zealand garden tour makes the most of New Plymouth while the rhododendrons are blooming. Meet private gardeners and wander magnificent Pukeiti and Tupare. Other highlights include Whanganui, Cross Hills garden in the Manawatu and the Chateau Tongariro. This small group tour focuses on showcasing the most beautiful gardens of the North Island.

Departs: 13, 16 Oct 2021


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 and Diana Montgomery's Waiongana Gardens.

Your home for three nights, the Millennium Hotel New Plymouth Waterfront, is just across from Len Lye’s Wind Wand kinetic sculpture and the waterfront boardwalk. We dine in at the hotel's Salt restaurant.

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. 

Day 3: Taranaki farmhouse gardens – Hikurangi- Openlands

Travelling the picturesque country roads on the seaward slopes of Mt Taranaki we visit expansive farmhouse gardens.

Maureen Brophy's Hikurangi plus Maria van der Poel 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: New Plymouth - Cairnhill Garden - Hawera gardens - Whanganui

We stroll in city treasure, Pukekura Park then drive to the start of the Forgotten World Highway to Cairnhill Garden to meet June and Colin Lees and enjoy their large rhododendron and vibernum garden. In Hawera we visit Jenny and John Pease's Gravetye Garden, with sweeping lawns, hedges and topiary.

We visit Jennifer and Ken Horner's country garden, Puketarata set high on a hill with magnificent views then continue on to Whanganui. We tour the city's landmarks and dine out this evening.

Day 5: Whanganui - Cross Hills Garden - Taihape - Chateau Tongariro

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.

Day 6: The Chateau Tongariro - Aramatai Gardens - Crosshills Garden - 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 Mouat's lovely Aramatai gardens set around a lake. We continue north to Crosshills Farm, near Otorohanga where our private lunch is hosted by Debbie and Fraser Robertson.
After lunch we drive north through the Waikato to Auckland. 



Single supplement available on request
MoaTours holidays are designed especially for mature travelers.

Travel Dates

For travel 13 Oct 2021

*per person, twin share

6 Days From



  • Accommodation: 5 nights accommodation.
  • Trip Leader: Knowledgeable MoaTours guide. 
  • Transport: Comfortable air-conditioned motorcoach (max 18 travellers).
  • Meals: All breakfasts; All lunches including special lunches with: Rachel and Denzil Anselmi at Carmel Farm garden, Piopio; Marie Mills at Openlands Country Garden; Debbie Robertson at her Crosshills Farm garden, Kio Kio; All dinners including dinner at: The Chateau Tongariro, Tongariro National Park.
  • Activities & Attractions:  isit 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 see one of the world’s greatest collections of rhododendrons; Visit Hikurangi Garden plus Maria van der Poel and Elaine Sanderson's Taranaki gardens; Meet June and Colin Lees at Cairnhill Garden; Jenny and John Pease's Gravetye Garden, a formal garden with hedges and topiary; 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; Lunch at Crosshills Garden just north of Otorohanga; Len Lye’s Wind Wand kinetic sculpture on the New Plymouth waterfront; See lush rainforest on the lower slopes of Mt Taranaki.


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