New Plymouth Festival of Lights

From $1290.00 per person

Situated in the heart of New Plymouth, the TSB Festival of Lights transforms the beautiful botanic setting of Pukekura Park into a magical illuminated night-time wonderland of multi-coloured lights gleaming amongst the trees, attracting more than 100,000 visitors each year. Other attractions we will visit during our four days stay in New Plymouth is the Tawhiti Museum in Hawera and the beautiful Pukeiti Garden.

Thursday 16 January 2020 to Sunday 19 January 2020 (4 Days)

Day 1 Thursday 16 January 2020 HOME CITES TO NEW PLYMOUTH (D)
Today we travel to New Plymouth along State Highway 3 via Te Kuiti. We travel the Awakino George Road to Mokau and then traverse Mt. Messenger to Uruti. On arrival into New Plymouth, we will visit the stunning Te Rewa Rewa Bridge for a stop, before arriving at our hotel to settle in for the next three nights.   New Plymouth is the major city of the Taranaki region. The region is renowned for its consistent surf and black sand beaches and of course, Mt Taranaki which is shaped like a perfect cone provides great walking tracks along its slopes. Other attractions include the Pukeiti Gardens and Pukekura Park. The Puke Ariki centre is also worthwhile or enjoy a walk along the coastal boardwalk to admire the windwand sculpture.                                                                                                                                                                                           Accommodation: Copthorne Grand Central 

Day 2 Friday 17 January 2020 NEW PLYMOUTH SIGHTSEEING (BD)
After breakfast this morning we begin our day by travelling South to Stratford. Stratford is located in the heart of Taranaki and is the gateway to Mt Taranaki/Egmont, Egmont National Park. It is known for its Shakespearean theme and stunning parks and gardens. It is here we view Stratford’s glockenspiel which is unique in New Zealand. The glockenspiel plays a scene from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet four times daily (at 10 am, 1 pm, 3 pm and 7 pm) with figures made by the curator of the Tawhiti Museum, Nigel Ogle. The glockenspiel performs for approximately 5 minutes after the hour chimes are finished. After viewing the glockenspiel we travel to Hawera to visit the Tawhiti Museum – an impressive visual history of South Taranaki. Tawhiti Museum is a truly unique enterprise. The creation of artist Nigel Ogle, its attention to detail is simply stunning. Widely acclaimed as the best private museum in the country, the museum uses life-size exhibits and scale models to present our heritage in a series of super realistic and engaging displays. All these displays are designed and built on the premises in the ‘Body Shop’ and accompanying studios, which can be viewed as part of a museum visit. We then travel back to our accommodation via Surf Highway 45

Day Saturday 18 January 2020 NEW PLYMOUTH (BD)
We’ll enjoy a leisurely start to the day as it will be a late night tonight. There will be time in the morning for those who wish to visit the local shops, or perhaps enjoy a walk along the coastal walkway. We reconvene in the afternoon to visit Pukeiti Garden. Boasting more than 10,000 rhododendrons and azaleas amongst lush native bush, ferns and mountain streams, and lively bird life, Pukeiti features drifts of primulas, hostas, bluebells and the world-renowned vireya collection, to provide year-round interest. Here we will enjoy a guided tour of the garden to learn Pukeiti’s stories and secrets and see it through the eyes of a gardener during the one hour tour. After dinner tonight, we’ll venture out to see the TSB Bank Festival Lightswhere New Plymouth’s gem, Pukekura Park will be transformed into a wonderland of lights! Fluorescent pebble paths sparkle beneath excited feet, majestic trees and plants glow, and waterfalls and lakes shimmer and shine beneath thousands of lights.

Day 4  Sunday 19 January 2020 PLYMOUTH TO HOME CITIES (B)
This morning we depart New Plymouth for our return journey following State Highway 3, travelling through lush forest, over Mount Messenger, and through the Awakino George. Head inland and pass through small country towns such as Piopio and Te Kuiti before passing the Waitomo Caves and continuing through to Hamilton.