Discover the country gardens of the Waikato, Hawkes Bay, Northern Wairarapa and Manawatu. Stay in Masterton and Feilding, both winners of town beauty contests, and enjoy the fun of the fair at Cross Hills Gardens.
16 Nov 2022
Day 1: Auckland - Hamilton - Taupo
Wander the “garden rooms” at Hamilton Gardens before we continue to Tamahere to lunch with Jeanette and Stephen Williams at lovely Moondance Manor at their expansive garden above the Waikato River. We stay at the Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels on Taupo’s lakeside and dine in this evening.
Day 2: Taupo - Napier - Masterton
We call into forested Waipahihi Botanical Gardens, created from scratch by volunteers. Continuing to Hawke's Bay, we lunch with Phyllida and Stuart Gibson at historic Gwavas Homestead and gardens in Tikokino. We stay two nights in Masterton at the Copthorne Hotel & Resort, Solway Park and dine in this evening.
Day 3: Brancepeth & Te Parae Homesteads, Wainuioru - Masterton
We visit the Wool Museum then meet Edward Beetham for morning tea. He 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 which shares family history with Brancepeth.
Day 4: Masterton - Braemore Farm- Greenhaugh Garden - Feilding
In Eketahuna we visit Warren and Robyn Walker’s Braemore Garden. On the Saddle Road Te Apiti wind farm’s turbines stretch along the ridge. We lunch in Lynne Atkin’s Greenhaugh Gardens surrounding the 1874 homestead. We visit Dugald MacKenzie rose garden and stay two nights at South Street West Motel, Feilding.
Day 5: Feilding - Lansdale - Villa Candotti
In Feilding a local farmer guides us through the historic sale yards as the auctions begin. We lunch with Kathryn Wells at the Buxton designed garden, Lansdale in Kairanga featuring ponds and a grotto and visit Peter and Jeanette Cranstoun's Villa Candotti before returning to Feilding and dining out in town.
Day 6: Feilding - Cross Hills Country Fair - Turangi
Meet the volunteers who maintain Heritage Park Rhododendron Garden. The Cross Hills Gardens’ Country Fair is held in Rodney and Faith Wilson’s magnificent 7ha garden of 2000 rhododendrons and azaleas. We take the scenic Ruahine Road to Mangaweka and on to Turangi to stay at Tongariro Lodge and dine in.
Day 7: Turangi- Parkwood Garden - Crosshills Farm - Auckland
Stunning views are a feature of the scenic road from Turangi to Taumarunui. Colourful borders feature in Ailsa and Carey Sanson’s Parkwood Garden near Otorohanga. We lunch at Debbie and Fraser Robertson’s Crosshills Farm Garden and visit Chris and Bev Gatenby's unique TreeChurch in Ohaupo on the way to Auckland.