Wonder at the beauty of one of the world's biggest and most diverse rhododendron collections, uniquely nestled in rainforest.
Pukeiti is open daily with free entry. It hosts a regular programme of educational, active and fun events in both the garden and rainforest. During the high season, the Founders Café is open for lunches and tasty snacks. Visitors can relax and enjoy panoramic views across the garden.
Pukeiti's giants awaken in July. The enormous flower trusses of the large-leaf rhododendrons, along The Valley of the Giants Walk, - contrast with the rainforest foliage. Camellias and magnolias follow. By October The Rhododendron Stroll explodes with hundreds of flowering exotics.
Complementary herbaceous plantings and bulbs enhance the display. In December, three metre tall giant Himalayan lilies fill the air with their honey scent. Flowering a few times in one year, vireya rhododendrans and other rare and unusual plants provide year-round interest in the large covered areas.
Pukeiti rainforest tracks
For thousands of years, Pukeiti was unspoiled virgin rainforest. Most of the rimu were removed in a decade during logging in the 1920s.
Afterwards, some areas remained forested while others were used for pasture or pine plantations. Now, more than 80 years later, the forest covers the land once more.
Pukeiti's rainforest tracks take you through this regenerating rainforest with remnant pockets of mature forest and some ancient rimu trees.
There are spectacular views of the Tasman Sea, and the Pouakai and Kaitake mountain ranges.
Be prepared for possible changes in weather conditions. There are three unbridged streams that can be impassable after heavy rain.
Mobile phone coverage is not reliable in this area, so please be careful.
Patuha Track: 1.2km
Te Iringa Track: 0.8km
Kaitake Track: 1.9km
Summit Track: 1km
(further 400m to summit)
Jubilee Track: 1.3km
Saxton Track: 1.6km
Rimu Track: 0.7km
A garden tour with a professional tour guide takes one hour and costs $200 including GST.