Discover the beautiful country gardens of the Waikato, Hawkes Bay, Northern Wairarapa and Manawatu. Stay in Masterton and Feilding, both winners of town beauty contests, and wander the fair and acres of rhododendron and azalea gardens at Cross Hills.
$3,390 per person, share twin
$600 single supplement
15 – 21 November, 2021
• All meals
• Entrance fees
• All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
• Services of your knowledgeable guide.
• Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place”.
• Domestic airfares
• Travel Insurance
We visit renowned Hamilton Gardens including the recent addition, the Mansfield garden. We lunch with Jeanette and Stephen Williams at Moondance Manor in Tamahere and enjoy their expansive garden beside the Waikato River.
We stay at the Millennium Hotel & Resort, Manuels on Taupo’s lakeside and dine in this evening.
From Taupo we drive through Hawkes Bay to lunch with Phyllida and Stuart Gibson at Gwavas Homestand and stroll in their garden in Tirokino, first established by the family 120 years ago. In Eketahuna we visit Warren and Robyn Walker’s Braemore Farm Garden where the rhododendrons are in bloom.
We arrive in Masterton and stay at the Copthorne Hotel & Resort, Solway Park, our home for two nights, and dine in this evening.
Masterton is the home of the Golden Shears championship so naturally our first stop this morning is the town’s Wool Museum.
We join Edward Beetham for morning tea and a guided tour through his family’s Brancepeth homestead built in the 1850s. We lunch nearby with Angela Williams at Te Parae homestead built in 1905. Te Parae shares family history with Brancepeth and thoroughbred horse breeding is a family tradition. We return to Masterton in the mid afternoon and dine at Solway Park this evening.
We meet Judith Callaghan for morning tea at Dursley garden designed by Alfred Buxton in 1916. 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 in the Giraffe House at Lynne Atkin’s Greenhaugh Gardens, a six star garden of national distinction, where wonderful, lush plantings surround the homestead built in 1874. We stay two nights at South Street West Motel and dine out this evening.
We check out the Friday market in Feilding’s town square and a local farmer guides us through the historic sale yards where the livestock auction is underway.
At Kairanga we lunch with Kathryn Wells in the Alfred Buxton designed garden, Lansdale, featuring ponds and a grotto and still tended by the original owner’s family. We tour to Palmerston North’s public gardens then return to Feilding and dine out this evening.
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 Ohakune to stay at The Chateau Tongariro Hotel where we dine in this evening.
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.
Some great news… while we wait for international borders to re-open, there is no better time to see a bit of our own backyard and help our local communities get back to business.
We’re excited to let you know that we have partnered with MoaTours, one of New Zealand’s leading and most trusted local tour operators since 1971. MoaTours offers a range of small group tours all over New Zealand that we think you’ll love — from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island.
A a family run business just like Tours Direct, MoaTours has great connections and unbeatable local knowledge of New Zealand’s best kept secrets. They also share common values so we know you will be well looked after and have a great experience.
We’re following a garden trail along country lanes to discover special historic homes and hidden gems. There’s lots of natural beauty to enjoy – relaxing over a garden lunch with our hosts or wandering the paths at the Cross Hills Gardens Country Fair.