The climate of the district lends itself to prolific growth of Rhododendrons, as well as many other species of shrubs and trees.
Although the province is well known for its annual Rhododendron Festival in late October/early November, there are gardens in the district that are worth visiting any time of the year.
Many of the Rhododendrons are blooming from June onwards and the gardens are at their best from August through the summer months.
As well as the gardens there are a number of public parks, beautiful bush walks through native bush and exotic plantings.
There are many well known gardens in the district, which can be viewed all year round. However, some of them can only be viewed by appointment.
The Stratford district is an excellent area to establish a business or purchase products.
The town is centrally located in the province of Taranaki, which is centrally located between Auckland and Wellington, on the junction of State Highway 3 and 43. It is also on the junction of the railway lines between New Plymouth and Marton and Stratford and Taumarunui.
The town was established as a rural support business area with a wealthy farming community surrounding it.
With almost 10,000 vehicles per day passing through the main street, it has the opportunity to provide a steady flow of customers for most business interests.
Residential and commercial property is exceptionally affordable considering the strategic location of the town.
The majority of the population of Taranaki is within 30 minutes of the town.
Northbound and southbound commercial bus services pass through the town daily.
The district has a number of successful gas and oil wells and a major Gas-Fired power Station was completed in 1999.
This glockenspiel is unique and the first of its kind in New Zealand.
There were no plans or designs to work from and as ideas from overseas were not feasible, the whole project was designed from ‘scratch’ by local engineers.
The figures are made by the well known curator of the Tawhiti Museum, Nigel Ogle of Hawera. He was commissioned to design and manufacture the figures. There are six in total, three of Romeo and three of Juliet. Nigel’s ability to make the lifelike figures has gained an international reputation.
At about twenty sites there are descriptive reminders of the area’s heritage – It follows the floor of the spectacular Tangarakau Gorge and for 20km follows the scenic Wanganui River.
Distance: Stratford to Taumarunui 155km
The Stratford and Taumarunui Information Centres have extensive information on the Heritage Trail.
Stratford, located almost midway between Auckland and Wellington, has a strategic position in the centre of the Taranaki province. An increasing number of visitors appreciate that Stratford is a junction and the gateway to Egmont National Park, Eastern Taranaki, Whanganui National Park, the King Country and Taupo.
One hour cultural waka voyage on the Waitara River, paddling past Ngatimaru historical sites.
Plus Your Choice Of:
Challenging two hour quad bike ride through native bush following ancient Ngatimaru food trails.
Demanding two hour 4WD drive through native bush driving your own 4WD automatic Suzuki.
A leisurely Eco tour on an 8 wheel Argo, viewing the flora and fauna, and noting the historical features of the area.
Extra activities for corporate and social groups including mountain biking, flat water rafting, canoeing, capturing wild goats and wild pigs.
At Purangi, a one hour scenic drive inland from New Plymouth, Inglewood or Stratford
Departs daily at 10am and 2pm from Purangi. Bookings are essential.
Phone/Fax (06) 755 2968
Mobile 025 579 285
Taranaki Pioneer Village is open 10am to 4pm every day of the year. Its historic buildings are set in park like surroundings.
This outdoor museum, reflecting pioneer Taranaki, is on the main highway just south of Stratford and overlooks farmland with views of Mount Egmont/Taranaki.
Features of the Village include:
· Café Deborah May
· Stratford Hospital Museum
· ‘Egmont Express’ train rides
· Historic Mangatoki Church available for weddings
· Working model railway
· 1900-style Education programme
· 50 historic buildings
· Function room for hire
Taranaki Pioneer Village provides a unique experience of life in Taranaki as it was yesterday, is today, and may be tomorrow.
Taranaki is the home of 20 golf clubs all within 40 minutes drive of Stratford. Among the best in the province is the Stratford Golf Course.
The 18-hole course is picturesque with excellent facilities and a course that suits all players.
The district also has the Strathmore Golf Club, a 9-hole country course that has 14 tees. Strathmore is an interesting and challenging course set in rural Eastern Taranaki.
Scenic Taranaki from the air
From the majesty of the mountain to the technological boldness of the huge petrochemical plants of Central Taranaki, everywhere you look there will be another aspect to view or another attraction to enjoy. All of these attractions can be seen from another perspective… from above in a flightseeing scenic aircraft.
The outstanding earthworks of the ancient Maori past in East Taranaki are startling and of course all aspects of the mountain are dramatic from the air.
The patchwork pattern of the farmland and the multicoloured patterns of the towns are contrasted by the rugged landscape of Eastern Taranaki.
A Garden of National Significance.
Te Popo Gardens have an expansive 6 acre park and woodland garden encircled by native forest and streams. Famous for its birds. Ideal for group tours (teas/lunches by arrangement). Wheelchair friendly, toilets available.Quality private Bed and Breakfast accommodation on site (Sarsen House). Guide available for groups.
597 Beaconsfield Road, Stratford. Erica Jago.
A peaceful, evolving rural garden set amidst large structural trees. Loads of horticultural interest and creative areas to explore. Flowering wisterias along with rugosa rose hedgerows all add character. Devonshire teas and plants for sale. 5 minutes from SH3 or SH43.
100 East Road, Stratford. Karen and Tony Waterson.
Experience the fragrance of lavender by strolling through our field of lavender, which is unique to Central Taranaki. We distil our lavender flowers for its essential oil, which goes into our wonderful healing products. These are sold from our farm shop with lavender plants and woodturning.
The acclaimed Stratford Hospital Museum is also on site and well worth a visit.
Activities include the” Egmont Express”, the Village train, which runs during weekends and holidays and offers a scenic tour of the Village. The Village Green is a great spot for family picnics and the “Villa Cafe” on site offers fine fare and coffee.
As well as the Pioneer Village, there are some other wonderful historical places in Stratford.
In 1925, the very first ‘talkie’ movies’ to be seen in the Southern Hemisphere were screened here, at the Taranaki Electricity Trust Kings Theatre.
The theatre has been restored and is now a venue for live theatre stage performances as well as regular screenings of popular and classic movies.
Get Stratford Buzzing planning an event, and want to tell Taranaki about it? Contact the Information Centre and have the details included in our regular “What’s On” info sheet. Call in to the Information Centre or phone us on 765 6708.
Lights Up Contest There are three catergories to enter: Residential Competitive, Residential Non-Competitive and Business. There are prizes up for grabs. Judging will take place between the 16th and 17th December with the peoples choice award announced in January 2008. Entries close on the 7th December and must be dropped off at the Stratford District Council or posted to PO Box 320, Stratford. Lights are turned on 15/12/07 and turned off 02/01/08.
Stratford Mayor’s Christmas Gift Appeal Stratford People Giving at Christmas Time. The people of the Stratford District are well known for their generosity when it comes to helping those in need. It is a District where people stop and help their neighbours in difficult times and reach out to strangers when they need it. Every year the Christmas gift appeal sees a huge pile of toys and gifts distributed to less fortunate children and elderly during the Stratford Mayor’s Christmas gift appeal. A long tradition in Stratford, the Christmas tree gift appeal sees people taking their good, pre-loved and new toys and gifts to the District Council Offices to place them under the tree. Just prior to Christmas, local community service agencies gather with the Mayor and distribute the gifts to children and aged in the Stratford district. The gifts can be placed in the District Council office foyer, Miranda Street, between 8.30am and 4.30pm up until Tuesday December 18. Any enquiries should be directed to Pauline James at the Council. Pauline said, “home made pickles, chutneys, Christmas cakes and puddings are always popular with older people.” Mayor John Edwards said, “I look forward to continuing this worthy tradition and encourage people to be generous again in 2007. We are a caring community and it is good to see people giving so much at this busy and often stressful time of year.” “For various reasons, a number of our local children and older people are not lucky enough to receive gifts at Christmas time,” Mr Edwards said. “This is just one way to bring happiness to those less fortunate than many of us and show the true spirit of Christmas.”
Stratford Press Young Achievers The Stratford Press would like to recognise the efforts of our local youth and are calling for nominations for the award. Nominations are open to all young achievers up to the age of 24 years old. Nominations can be made by anyone and can be for a wide range of excellence. Nominations must be in writing and addressed to the editor of the Stratford Press.