Only a short drive from downtown New Plymouth is the charming property, Tūpare. We parked in the car park and walked down the wide path with lovely over hanging branches of all colours to a lovely English type cottage. The Chapman-Taylor house. It was like turning back the clock – lovely wooden beams with that British feel, looking out onto a glorious garden.
Overlooking the Waiwhakaiho River, Tūpare which means garland of flowers is a premier landscaped garden with a unique homestead, originally developed by Sir Russell Matthews and his family from 1932.
Although this beautiful house was closed when we arrived as they were setting up for a private high tea, we were invited in for a personal tour. We were so fortunate as our friend Betty who took us to Tūpare is one of the Friends of Tūpare Her knowledge of the house and the gardens was exceptional. We had the pleasure of about an hour of a personalised tour of the house and gardens.
The Friends of Tūpare host free public tours at 11am on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from October to March and group tours can be organised on request.
This hidden gem is probably one of New Zealand’s best privately-established gardens, which has now been passed on to the district council for preservation. The council continue to do an awesome job, replacing trees and plants as necessary to maintain its splendor.
Established in the 1930s with over 50 years of family effort, the grandeur is awesome, with maples, fragrant roses, rhododendrons, lilies, hydrangeas, redwoods, grasses, there is so much to admire, irrespective of the season.
In 2002, the land was purchased for the New Zealand Community to enjoy. It is indeed a work of art, with such well manicured gardens, a public park with impeccable barbecue facilities where people can enjoy a picnic. There are four walking trails with differing levels of difficulty especially with regards to incline. The original gardener’s cottage is a delight to see and has much historical and photographic material on display. Truly fabulous. What is even better, there is no charge to view and partake in the walking trails
Tūpare is an absolute safe haven of stillness, tranquillity and botanical beauty. It radiates serenity and peacefulness
Tūpare was the home of the Matthews family. It is now owned and managed by the Taranaki Regional Council and is a Garden of National Significance.
It is terrific as you can walk as little or as much as you want. The walk down to the river is worth it and then up to the top. It would be fun to take a picnic and enjoy it down by the river.