Three nights & two days

Discover the internationally significant gardens of Taranaki over 2 days/3 nights. Be guided by our experts to Te Kainga Marire,  Pukeiti, Hollard Garden, Pukekura Park and Tupare.  These are truly gardens for all seasons with a diverse range of landscapes and unique plant collections so there will always be something to delight. Hear from the passionate curators and owners of these wonderful assets as you tour each garden. A  cooking demonstration and a hosted dinner  are included in your experience which compliments your superb accommodation.

Terms & Conditions

Price: From $1,995 twin share (50%  deposit due at booking)  Single Supplement available

Please contact us for further information


  •  2 days / 3 nights all-inclusive
  • Consists of: 1 cooking demonstration, a hosted dinner, all meals, snacks, drinks and alcoholic beverages;  transport ; 4 star luxury accommodation; curated tours of all the gardens and the Chapman Taylor House at Tupare; experienced local guides



First night
Taranaki's leading luxury boutique accommodation, the Nice Hotel, New Plymouth, will be your home for the next three nights.
You will be welcomed by the proprietor, Terry Parkes, or Cathy Thurston who will be your host for the evening.
Join Terry for a cocktail and nibbles (he may even show you how to make them) followed by dinner and a few local stories. These nights have been a hit in the past (nights to remember). Or if Terry is away join one  one of his chefs,  and experience a lovely wine and food matched dinner.. 
You will then be ready to retire  to your beautiful accommodation to enjoy a restful night’s sleep.

Day One – Tupare and Hollard Gardens
After a hearty breakfast at the Nice Hotel, you will then travel with your guide and drive to Tupare, which is only a short distance on the edge of New Plymouth.
Tupare is an Arts and Craft-inspired property originally established in 1932 by Sir Russell and Lady Matthews. It is situated on the pleasant banks of the Waiwhakaiho River. The garden is rated as one of national significance and features a magical Chapman-Taylor designed house with plantings and landscapes true to its heritage. You will tour the house, have morning tea and be lead through a tour of the gardens by the curator at Tupare.
You will thenbe taken to your next destination. On the outskirts of Inglewood you will come to the home of Jane Shearer, set in the peaceful countryside. Jane runs a business known as "Duck under the Table" which delivers a unique experience in food preparation and dining. Jane's love of entertaining and cooking is infectious, and she will demonstrate easy techniques that add flair and elegance to your cuisine. She will offer heaps of tips and ideas to enhance your culinary skills before inviting you to relax and savour the sumptuous meal you've just seen created.
Your next visit is to Hollard Gardens, which is situated between Eltham and Kaponga with great views of Mt Taranaki.
Hollard Gardens, which is also a garden of national significance is a 4.5 hectare property, established in 1927 by plantsman Bernie Hollard. The gardens have a significant collection including many rhododendrons and rare and unusual natives. For approximately the next one and a half hours enjoy a delightful tour through the gardens with the curator. You will round off the visit with drinks and nibbles served in the Hollard Centre before being transported back to New Plymouth through the rural countryside.
At 7pm met in the bar of the Nice Hotel before heading off out for dinner. Your guide will take you out to enjoy dinner in Arborio, an award winning contemporary restaurant situated within the Puke Ariki museum.

Day Two – Te Kainga Marire, Pukekura Park and Pukeiti
After another delicious breakfast at the Nice Hotel, you will travel with your guide and visit your first garden. Te Kainga Marire, (which is Maori for the peaceful encampment) is a skilfully designed inner-city native garden that reflects New Zealand's natural environment.
Situated in a once weedy New Plymouth valley, Te Kainga Marire is now considered to be one of the few private gardens of international significance by the prestigious RNZIH New Zealand Gardens Trust. 
The garden wraps around the Poletti-Clarkson family home, snuggles up to a coastal swamp forest remnant and pa site and spills on to the neighbouring river reserve and Te Henui walkway leading to the city and sea.
This is a harmonious garden that weaves subtle textures and colours with quirky forms. Lush ferns, wetland plants, alpine treasures and native trees make up a microcosm of the New Zealand landscape - a gem of Middle Earth. You will also be able to sample some of the titbits created from the native plants in the garden. Following the tour with Valda or David, your transport will be waiting to take you to your next destination.
Pukekura Park is a world renowned park in the centre of New Plymouth covering 52 hectares. It has a diverse range of landscapes including many plant collections, exotic specimen trees, formal gardens, lakes, children’s play areas, a sports field and walking trails through native bush. 
The park has an international Green Flag award and is also a garden of national significance.  The curator will take you on a tour of some of the must- see specimens and the delightful hidden corners of the park. It will then be time to travel to the next stop, the gardens of Pukeiti.
Pukeiti is renowned for its rhododendron collection and is a 360 hectare rainforest property located between Mount Taranaki and the coast, just south of New Plymouth.
Established in 1951, Pukeiti is an internationally recognised garden and plant collection. Pukeiti holds more than 2000 varieties of rhododendrons as well as complementary native and exotic plantings. Rhododendron species from wild sources take pride of place, but just as many of the man-made hybrids flaunt themselves during the long flowering season (July – March).
You will have the opportunity to enjoy the gardens as the curator takes you along attractive grassed garden walks which are enhanced by the multitude of bird life. The peace and tranquility of the garden is wonderful and there is something for every garden enthusiast. Pukeiti is a truly relaxing experience.
After this last garden you will then be driven to the Nice Hotel for your final evening of the trip.
After a drink in the bar it will be time for dinner in the dining room of the Nice Hotel,  a delicious a la carte meal from Table.
Enjoy another restful sleep at the Nice Hotel and breakfast the next morning before you depart or set off for another adventure.  

* As part of the tour price a contribution will go to the Pukeiti Rhododendron Trust



  • Good walking shoes (should be comfortable and well broken in and preferably waterproof)
  • Raincoat (waterproof, windproof with hood)
  • Camera



Graham Smith
I started my professional career in 1960 as an apprentice in the Royal Parks, London, based in Regents Park for five years. This valuable period, guided by experienced ‘old-school’ practitioners, enabled me to gain selection on the three-year Diploma Course at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 1965. Graduating with a Kew Diploma I came to New Zealand for more experience and within three months of arrival I was appointed as Curator of the Pukeiti Rhododendron Trust, a position I was to remain in for almost 40 years, retiring as Director in 2008. I have continued in an advisory role to the Taranaki Regional Council on Pukeiti and also an assessor for the Taranaki Rhododendron Festival, having been involved in that since the concept stage more than 25 years ago. 

Lynn Bublitz 
After graduating with Honours in Botany Lynn taught Biology, Science and Horticulture at New Plymouth Boys’ High School. After serving as Deputy Headmaster for 15 years he was appointed Principal of Inglewood High School. Concurrently he served on The New Plymouth District Council, acting as Chair for a number of committees including Community Services and Parks, which was of prime interest. After completing his teaching career in 2001 he served two terms as Deputy Mayor. He retired from the Council in 2012. Lynn has always been interested in gardening. His home garden is full of a wide range of plants from a number of sources. Pukeiti, too, has been a consuming interest where he has served in a number of capacities including 10 years as Board Chair. He has led a number of trips to China, and he presently edits the New Zealand Rhododendron Journal. As well, Lynn is still involved with a number of other community activities. In 2007 he was awarded a QSO for services to Education, Local Government, Arts and the Community. 

 Alan Jellyman  
A former director of parks and later community services managerfor New Plymouth District Council was awarded the  Associate of Honour of the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture (AHRIH) in 1993. Alan Jellyman, authorof  Th e Growing World of Duncan and Davies, a Horticultural History 1899-2010”began an apprenticeship at Duncan and Davies in 1957 and completed his National Diploma in Horticulture (Also receiving the Cockayne Medal for excellence). He became assistant curator at Pukekura Park in 1962. In 1977 he was appointed New Plymouth director of parks and recreation. Alan has served on the Pukeiti Rhododendron Trust board and chaired the advisory committee for Eastwoodhill National Arboretum. In 2003 he was awarded the Gold Veitch Memorial Medal by the Royal Horticultural Society of Great Britain in recognition of services to the advancement of the science and practice of horticulture. He is also a trustee of the Sir Victor Davies Foundation for Research into Ornamental Horticulture.