Encounter the mystery
Wonder at the beauty of a world-class rhododendron collection uniquely set in rainforest.
Pukeiti holds more than 2000 varieties of rhododendrons as well as complementary native and exotic plantings. Rhododendron species from wild sources take pride of place, but just as many of the man-made hybrids flaunt themselves during the long flowering season (July – March). To find a rhododendron flower any time of the year, follow the Covered Exhibition Walks which house the bright collection of vireyas and their sub-tropical allies.
Discover a historic waterwheel and wander the beautifully presented borders surrounding the Main Lawn. This is a place for children – there is intrigue, surprise and adventure as families journey through the property. Pukeiti is huge – with around 26 hectares of garden and 336 hectares of protected rainforest. The forest is rich with history – it whispers stories of the local Iwi, the pioneering Europeans and the continuing regeneration of the rainforest after the logging.
Learn more in the Bublitz Education Centre where you can find out about the plant collection, the rainforest, the spiritual significance of Pukeiti to the local Iwi, the pioneering Europeans and the passionate founding members and volunteers who toiled to create this garden over the decades.
Check out the new Keiller Home Garden. The garden is based on a concept by noted landscape designer Xanthe White and is built on the site of the old curator’s cottage. Enclosed in a stylised ‘skeleton’ of a house, it features whimsical out-sized furniture and a range of rhododendron and other plants. The rhodo cultivars are presented them in something like a domestic setting, making it easy for visitors to envisage how these plants might add some magic at their own homes. The cultivars are all easily available from commercial nurseries.
Pukeiti is a hub for everyone – culture lovers and fun seekers as well as nature lovers. Bring your family for a delicious lunch in the Founders Café (1 October – 31 January) with its panoramic views of the garden, rainforest and out to the Tasman Sea. Make use of the facilities for a private or community event. Join in the fun at the bi-monthly family Explorer Days. Take a short garden walk or a more challenging adventure and with either – sense another world and time. Share the magic of Pukeiti with friends and family or visitors to the region so they can experience a truly unique part of Taranaki’s heritage.
Pukeiti is for everyone's enjoyment. Dogs are not permitted.