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The southern and central regions of New Zealand's North Island are host to some of our most fantastic collector gardens. Manicured and much-loved outdoor environments showcase magnificent collections of both old and new world plants - presented by the passionate people who have created them. Rhododendrons are a special highlight here; the optimal climate results in dramatic presentation of the lush, evergreen foliage and vibrant trusses of pink, purple, yellow, red and white flowers.
Without exception these gardens are superb year-round, but the best time to visit is during the rhododendron bloom, between late September and mid December. There’s fantastic variety to be experienced - from the myriad of perennials, natives and specimen trees to topiary, sweeping lawns, hedges and of course the grand rhododendron collections. These unique gardens have been matured over decades - and in some cases generations - by those who have dedicated so much to their creation.
Here are some of our favourite gardens to visit in the North Island.
Jury Garden, Tikorangi
Abbie and Mark present a garden of supreme maturity - lovingly crafted by five generations of the Jury family, this magnificent symphony of nature is an asset of national significance.
Pukeiti Gardens, Taranaki
Sprawling through hectares of lush rainforest, emerald lawns and spectacular gardens, Pukeiti is set against the lower slopes of the mighty Mt Taranaki. These gardens boast one of the greatest rhododendron collections in the world.
Cross Hills Garden, Kimbolton
Graced by seven acres of gemstone quality gardens, the much admired estate of the Wilson family is a sight to behold. Cross Hills showcases a collection of over 2000 Rhododendron varieties, complimented by azaleas, peonies, primulas and magnificent perennials.
Experience the magic for yourself
MoaTrek’s Rhododendron Garden Tour includes some of the most spectacular gardens in the North Island – including those described above. Along the way you’ll experience spectacular scenery, meet the passionate gardeners and tour their wonderful creations. Comfortable evenings will be spent enjoying local cuisine and wines in carefully selected accommodation. Find out more on our website, or contact us directly – we’d love to help make your dream garden tour a reality.