Gardens of New Zealand
For us in the United Kingdom, visiting New Zealand is rather like entering a parallel universe. On the surface, everything appears familiar, but look more closely and you notice subtle differences – an unusual plant, an outlandish insect or a brightly coloured bird – which tell you that you are in fact a long way from home. There are parts of New Zealand that could be anywhere in the British Isles, from a Hampshire country garden to a Highland glen, an illusion which is strengthened by the abundance of familiar place names and by the plants which were imported by the early settlers to make them feel more at home. Yet where in Britain can you find bubbling mud pools and gushing geysers, majestic fjords and glittering glaciers, huge tree ferns and penguin colonies? In addition to viewing some of these natural wonders, we will be taking a close look at the flora of the country, both in its natural habitat and in a cross-section of some of the many wonderful private and public gardens with which New Zealand is blessed. The native flora evolved in isolation here, after the land split from the supercontinent of Gondwanaland some 60 million years ago, and of the country’s 2000 or so flowering plants about 75% are found only in New Zealand. Among the species we can expect to see are Raoulias (Vegetable sheep) and Celmisias, Ranunculus lyalli (Mount Cook Lily), Aciphyllas (Wild Spaniards), Bulbinellas, Chionohebes and Hebes; New Zealand Beech and Tree Ferns, as well as the many non-native plants which gardeners here like to grow alongside the native bush.
Travel in January to enjoy the gardens at the peak of their summer flowering.
departures:Select Your Departure Date
What to Expect
- Stopover in Singapore including Gardens by the Bay
- Sailing across the Cook Strait from North to South Island
- Scenic train journey on the Coastal Pacific
- Wine tasting in the Wither Hills
- Cruise on Milford Sound