New Zealand tour, hiking and gardening

Paula_sfbayJanuary 10, 2003

My DH and I plan a hiking vacation in New Zealand next fall (locally, spring). I've specified some time out to see gardens, especially gardens featuring old roses. I'd love some recommendations on tour companies, both for the hiking and the roses. And while I have some suggestions on gardens to see, I could use more suggestions as well.

Thanks for allowing me to benefit from your experience!


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zoohortmmm(USDA 4, CO)

I've never been to NZ but my son may be taking a job there later this year. I would be interested, Paula, in learning about the rose gardens that are on your "to-visit" list. I have a feeling there may be a NZ trip in my future.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2003 at 6:38PM
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We don't really have an itinerary yet. We'll probably sign up with a travel company for guided hiking on the South Island, and visit Auckland and Christchurch when we're done enjoying the wilds. We have three weeks (including the flight time) so that's probably as much as we'll have time for. We haven't decided between November (spring) and January (summer) yet. I vote for November but my travelling companion is leaning toward January. Either would work, I guess. Should be fun either way.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2003 at 5:39PM
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alcam(z8 Pacific NW)

Hi Paula,
My wife and I are more rhododendron people than rose people though we do grow a dozen or so old ramblers. What we can do is recommend New Zealand. We spent all of last November touring both of the islands. We took in the NZ rhododendron conference and visited many private and public gardens. The public Botanical Gardens in Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland are well worth visiting. The more rhodo specific gardens at Pukeiti and 'Crosshills' in Kimbolton were, to us, a must see. To us all gardens are special but if you have only one chance to visit one private garden, try to visit 'Ayrlies' just outside Auckland, simply incredible.

I envy you your trip, enjoy.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2003 at 1:09AM
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I like rhododendrons, too, magnificent plants, but won't be going at the right season for the best show, I think. However, I'll keep my eyes open. Thanks, all.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2003 at 12:34PM
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eugeneleek(zone 7OR)

hi, would love to know what you plan to visit. I'm thinking of Nov. for 2 wks - in the planning stage - fun.

my guide book mentions Ellerslie
Flower Show in Auckland mid-Nov. Doesn't give exact date.

I'm interested in roses - since moving to Eugene 4 yrs ago from South Dakota I've enjoyed growing roses for the first time.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2003 at 11:42PM
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Our trip has evolved over time. We now plan to spend most of the trip on a hiking tour in the South Island. I will have a couple days in Christchurch and will be on the lookout for gardens there. I expect to see many glorious plants in the wilds.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2003 at 5:58PM
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riverstone6(WA Aust)

Hi Paula--I am a Kiwi and came across your plans tonight! If you are still planning a Nov trip that is a good time for the rhodos and the roses will be coming into bloom. There are some lovely parks in Christchurch and Gore also has a good rose garden, Dunedin has a castle with beautiful grounds and the wildflowers in Otago are fabulous in early Dec. I live in the North island and can recommend the Wellington botanical gardens, Otari bush reserve and also the Lower Hutt city gardens. Pukeiti rhodo park is lovely any time and the city garden in New Plymouth is great, Auckland has Parnell roses and Eden park close in the city and the Manakau city has a great treasure which is the Ellerslie show site. NZ has lots to show the visitor!!! Enjoy your trip, the country is lovely but I would say that!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2003 at 11:03AM
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Axis_North(usda zone 6)

I live and garden in Masachusetts USA - USDA Zone 6. Thinking of moving to New Zealand for more land and serious gardening. Ofcourse I have to work - I am an Architect with 20 years of experience in Commercial/Institutional Architecture. If I did move to New Zealand - where would my ideal location be??? I would prefer the warmer zonesIf possible, I do not want to live in a big city.

Any suggestions?


    Bookmark   November 9, 2004 at 7:12AM
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Axis, the only really large city in New Zealand is Auckland. If you settle in another city, it would be moderately sized. Perhaps the capital Wellington would suit you. If you want to be warm, you would probably prefer the North Island to the South Island. Be prepared for both costs and incomes to be lower than you are used to in Massachusetts.

I have been thinking about New Zealand a lot the past few weeks. Our trip was last January but I find the images of the landscape persist in my mind. I'm considering another trip in a couple of years. Perhaps we'll hike the Routeburn Track, since we hiked the Milford Track before.

We are planning our next hiking in Slovenia but somehow I'm not committed to that idea. It seems silly to go back to NZ when there are so many places I have yet to see, but somehow I'm tempted.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2004 at 4:26PM
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New Zealand Tourism Guide and companies gives best advice for having tour to New Zealand.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 12:36AM
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