New Plymouth: Best of Cycling, Sightseeing and Gardens

What could be better  than a weekend in one of the best cycling centres in Aotearoa, with good company and coffee; great sightseeing and gardens?

I toured Taranaki’s Rhododendron Festival with friends and by car a few years ago. It was a spectacular experience. It’s not just about rhododendrons – there are a vast range of inspiring gardens skirting the foothills of Mt Taranaki, complete with sparkling mountain streams and stunning panoramas. Of course there are also the urban treasures of the Govett Brewster Art Gallery, Puke Ariki Museum, good cafes and accomodation.

The only downside was having to drive between each garden and find a carpark at the roadside of each rural or residential property which were not intended for bulk visitors. My solution this year was to ask the smart cycling team at New Plymouth Council (one of only 2 model cycling communities in the country)  if they could plan for cyclists for this festival – and they have ! Look at this lovely map!

The festival runs from 26 October to 4 November. Even if one of your group is not into gardens, Taranaki has irresistible cycle rides around the mountain and along the gorgeous coastal route leading out into the country north and south of New Plymouth.

Get onto it now to plan this break-out from Auckland. I guarantee you’ll return elated, refreshed and delighted that you grabbed this opportunity.

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