Delight in beautiful country gardens, visit a country fair and spend a night in the grand old Chateau Tongariro.
A small group tour designed for mature travellers. Maximum 18.
Departs & returns to Auckland.
Day 1: Auckland - Hamilton - Taupo
We visit renowned Hamilton Gardens and lunch with Jeanette and Stephen Williams at Moondance Manor and enjoy their expansive garden.
Near Wairakei we call into Linda Peat and Tim Birdsall’s Tullamore Garden where miniature Galloway cattle graze. We stay at the Millennium Hotel & Resort, Manuels on Taupo’s lakeside and dine in tonight.
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel and Resort Manuels
Day 2: Taupo - Napier - Masterton
Close to the Taupo/Napier road Bruce Wills' Trelinnoe Park has a wonderful diversity of plants from the Himalayas to Brazil. In Eketahuna we visit Warren and Robyn Walker’s Braemore Farm Garden which features a cottage garden, around the house, an avery, mature trees, rhododendrons and hostas, a large pond and wilderness.
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Solway Park x 2 nights
Day 3: Brancepeth & Te Parae Homesteads, Wainuioru - Dursley Garden
Edward Beetham guides us through Brancepeth, his family’s homestead, gardens and farm buildings dating back to the 1850s. We lunch nearby with Angela Williams at Te Parae homestead built in 1905 which shares family history with Brancepeth. The house and garden are set around a large lake. Thoroughbred horse breeding is a family tradition.
Later we meet Judith Callaghan at her big and colourful country garden, Dursley, designed by Alfred Buxton in 1916.
Day 4: Masterton - Woodville - Feilding
Masterton is the home of the Golden Shears championship so naturally we visit the town's Wool Museum. From Woodville we climb over the Saddle Road to Te Apiti wind farm where we stop to view the turbines stretching along the ridge.
We lunch with Kathryn Wells at the Buxton designed garden, Lansdale in Kairanga featuring ponds and a grotto, it is still tended by the original owner's family. We stay two nights at South Street West Motel.
Accommodation: South West Street Motel x 2 nights
Day 5: Manawatu Gardens - Greenhaugh and Roseburn Park - Feilding
A local farmer guides us through Feilding’s historic sale yards where the livestock auction is underway. We visit Lynne Atkin’s Greenhaugh Gardens, a garden of national distinction, where wonderful, lush plantings surround the homestead built in 1874.
We lunch at Lily and Graeme Price's Roseburn Park where rhododendrons and prunus are flowering. We return to Feilding in the mid afternoon and dine out this evening.
Day 6: Feilding - Cross Hills Country Fair - Chateau Tongariro
We visit Heritage Park Rhododendron Garden which is maintained by volunteers. At Cross Hills Gardens’ Country Fair 180 stalls showcase unique and New Zealand–made products displayed in Rodney and Faith Wilson’s magnificent 7ha garden of 2000 rhododendrons and azaleas.
In the afternoon we drive the scenic Ruahine Road to Mangaweka and on to Tongariro National Park. This evening we will dine in the hotel's elegant restaurant.
Accommodation: Chateau Tongariro Hotel
Day 7: National Park - Auckland
If it’s a clear day we drive to the Top o’ the Bruce on Mt Ruapehu to enjoy the amazing view and volcanic landscape. Sweeping lawns and colourful borders feature in Ailsa and Carey Sanson’s 10 year old Parkwood Garden near Otorohanga.
We lunch at Debbie and Fraser Robertson’s Crosshills Farm and visit Barry Cox's unique Tree Church garden at Ohaupo on the way back to Auckland.
All Meals Are Included
All Activities & Entrance Fees Are Included
Included Sightseeing & Exploring