Fodor's Expert Review Pukeiti Gardens

New Plymouth Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

Established by the Pukeiti Rhododendron Trust, these 900 acres of lush, native rain forest are surrounded by farmland. The Pukeiti (poo-ke-ee-tee) collection of 2,500 varieties of rhododendrons is the largest in New Zealand. Many were first grown here, such as the giant winter-blooming R. protistum var. giganteum, collected from seed in 1953 and now standing 15 feet tall, and the delightful Lemon Lodge and Spring Honey hybrids, which bloom in spring. Kyawi, a large red "rhodo," is the last to bloom, in April (autumn). Rhododendrons aside, there are many other rare and special plants here. All winter long the Himalayan daphnes fragrance the pathways. Spring-to-summer-growing candelabra primroses reach up to 4 feet; and, for a month around Christmas, spectacular 8-foot Himalayan cardiocrinum lilies bear heavenly scented, 12-inch, white trumpet flowers. Located 20 km (12½ miles) southwest of New Plymouth's center, Pukeiti is also a wonderful bird habitat.

Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

2290 Carrington Rd.
New Plymouth, Taranaki  4312, New Zealand


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Rate Includes: Free

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