Fodor's Expert Review Hollard Gardens
A detour into dairy country, 16 km (10 miles) southwest of Stratford, brings you to this well-regarded horticultural haven. In 1927, dairy farmers Bernie and Rose Hollard fenced a 14-acre patch of native bush and started what is now a garden of "national significance." There are two distinct sections. One is an old woodland garden of mature native and exotic trees, with closely underplanted rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, and perennials. The other, established in 1982, has broad lawns, paths with mixed borders, hidden paths, a children's play area, and vistas of Mt. Taranaki. Managed by the Taranaki Regional Council for all to enjoy, the gardens are particularly colorful during the rhododendron flowering season from September to late November. Self-contained campervans can stay overnight.