Hollard Gardens

23_2(QEII National Trust Garden.)
A Garden of National Significance.
Hollard Gardens is an interesting and relaxing place to visit at any time of the year. Primarily a plant collection , the style is informal and much of the 4-hectare garden is woodland. It is a garden that people easily identify with and is a place of peace and relaxation, rich in bird life. Hollard Gardens is renown for its repository of plants. They represent exotic introductions and New Zealand breed plants spanning the last 75 years. The gardens are at there most colourful from September till March with the rhododendrons at their best during October and November.

Te Wera Arboretum (Tree collection)
The tree collection at Te Wera Arboretum in Eastern Taranaki is also well worth a visit. This Arboretum was planted by the New Zealand Forest Service from 1954 to 1963.

Heritage Trail

State Highway 43

The Stratford to Taumarunui Heritage Trail was established in 1990 to give travellers an awareness of the rich and unique history along the route linking these important Taranaki and Central North Island centres.

The ‘Heritage’ Highway threads through pristine sub-tropical rain forests and unspoilt scenery, just as they were thousands of years in the past – including the beech ridge-tops of Whangamomona Saddle and the awesome Tangarakau Gorge.

After it leaves the Taranaki volcanic ring plain, the trail drops into the rolling and then steeper inland landscape.

The highway threads through valleys and over saddles, through countryside comprising grasslands, virgin rainforest and regenerating bush.

Stratford – In the Heart of Taranaki

MountainclocktowerStratford – Gateway to the Forgotten Highway is situated at the junction of State Highway 3 and State Highway 43 in the centre of the Taranaki Province in the North Island of New Zealand.

Access to National Park
As the closest main centre to the Egmont National Park, Stratford is the main access to East Egmont (the location of the Ski Field) and Dawson Falls.

Parks and Gardens
Parks and gardens open to the public are around the district as well as a number of visitor attractions.

Heritage Trail
From the junction of the highways, is the start of New Zealand’s first Heritage trail which follows 150 kilometres of  SH 43 through beautiful scenery, hills and gorges.

N.Z.’s only glockenspiel in the main street of Stratford plays daily at 10am, 1pm and 3pm.

Walks and Outdoor Activities
See Everything from glow worms to water falls. Walks vary from 1 hour short walks to 4 day treks. Go Bike riding or 4wd through native bush and then relax with a round of golf.

What’s On In Stratford
Latest events and announcements

Hopkirk Garden

garden2This garden displays numerous large trees and a good selection of hardy shrubs. 700 Rhododendrons, including a selection of natives and tree ferns. Herbacious plants early use of Hosters edging, treasures in rock gardens etc. Old home site including lawn and tennis courts surrounded by native trees, woodland appearance and dills with premulas and other woodland plants. Rock gardens, Rose gardens and vegetable gardens all included. This garden overlooks the Mangaehu river while a natural waterfall add to the diversity and charm.

Ostler’s Garden
190 Warwick Road, East Stratford. Maureen Ostler.
4 acres of mature informal garden with ducks,swans, waterlillies, rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, wisterias, hostas and many native trees. Shadehouse with begonias and fuchsias. 5 minutes from SH3.

586 Beaconsfield Rd, RD24 Stratford. Joan and Brian Wellington.
A large flowing country garden planned around a waterway. the lake historically supplied water fro the local dairy factory. Mature oak, plane, cedar, totara and rimu shelter the garden. There are woodlands; native areas, semi formal borders and lawns designed to appreciate the wider landscape.

Historic Buildings of Stratford

villagePioneer Village -Stratford
Taranaki Pioneer Village is an outdoor museum spread over 10 acres of parkland and featuring 50 historic buildings in a display of local and provincial heritage. Nostalgic memories are created for the older generation and first-hand education for younger members of the family and school groups.

Located on the main highway just south of Stratford, Taranaki Pioneer Village is open every day (except Christmas Day) from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.

Some of the buildings have been relocated to the Village from their original sites and date back to the first settlers in the province. Examples are the Mangatoki Church, the Tariki Railway Station, the Pembroke School and the Colonial Cottage.

Many of the others are recreations of early pioneering buildings and they house an amazing collection of memorabilia. If you have wondered what it would be like to live in a tin shed or a two-roomed cottage you’ll see life in the early days reflected at the Village.

The Glockenspiel

clockRJThe Glockenspiel ‘plays’ daily at 10 am, 1.00 pm  3.00 p.m and 7.00 p.m.

It can be easily viewed from the footpath on Broadway (State Highway 3) opposite the clocktower.

The glockenspiel performs for approximately 5 minutes, after the hour chimes are finished.

Manganui Gorge

dawsonfallsDrive to the Plateau, spectacular views of the Manganui Gorge and the main peak are gained after only 15 to 20 miinutes from your car.

The Dawson Falls
Dawson Falls area has become noted for its scenery and the half day walks are a major attraction for both young and old. All of these tracks are clearly marked with colour coded signs and direction markers, and the entrance to the bush area has a large diagrammatic map showing where each track goes and approximately how long each takes to walk.

The Manganui Skifield
The Stratford ski-field is located at the end of Pembroke Road at East Egmont.
A club field, the ski area is relatively small and low and operates for up to three months of the year.

Egmont National Park

nationalparkAmong the many walks that can be found in the Egmont National Park are those which are easily reached from the Stratford Plateau or from the area around the Stratford Mountain House.

Two notible features on this side of the mountain are these walks which are entirely different in character but within easy reach for most people to accomplish.

The walks from East Egmont take the visitor into the heart of the forest where within 20 minutes from the start, you are confronted with the sheer majesty of the bold conical peak of Mount Egmont/Taranaki.

A series of beautiful bush walks through native trees are from 15 minutes to all-day walks.
Spectacular views of the mountain, the surrounding countryside, the moss-laden mountain forest and in the distance , the mountains of the central north island.

Mt Taranaki Adventures

MtTAdvMt Taranaki Adventure Tours takes you on a cultural and adventure tour from Kaponga to Dawson Falls on the southern slopes of Mt Taranaki.

Climb aboard our Waka (Te Pahi) – and let us take you on a fun tour up Te Maunga Taranaki by bus.
After exploring side tracks and secret locations known to Maori, a final highlight is a 14km downhill cycle tour through bush and farmland on the return to Kaponga.

The four hour full tour includes entry to well known Holland Gardens, transport to Dawson Falls, a tour of the visitor display centre, guided walk in the rainforest, and a visit to Wilkies Pools and Dawson Falls.
The tours are a mix of education, culture, exercise and fun among the rainforest, alpine streams and pools.
Bookings are essential.
Ph/Fax (06) 764 6585
Mobile 027 414 0304
Email mttaranaki.adventure@xtra.co.nz

Sonnet Competition

dawson-fallsThe theme for this years competition is

“Shakespeare in the 21st Century”

Information and Conditions

This is an open competition centred on Stratford, the New Zealand home of Shakespeare.

There are two divisions

Young Poet     Primary School Students.

Senior Poet     Secondary School Students and Adults.

Free entry to this competition.

Sonnets are to be submitted by 31 January 2008 and entries will not be accepted after this date.

Sonnets are to be presented as one per page, clearly printed or typed.

Sonnets are to be submitted either on line to sonnets@stratford.govt.nz or posted to: Sonnet Competition, P O Box 320 STRATFORD.

Your name, address, age, school and phone number should accompany your sonnet on a seperate page and be attached with your entry.  Should you require your entry to be returned please provide a stamped self addressed envelope.

There is a maximum of three sonnets to be entered from any one person.

By submitting your entry you agree to the organisers right to publish or use your sonnet and your name in any publicity.


Sonnets will be judged both on their content and their use or development of the traditional sonnet form of 14 lines with set syllables and rhymes.

Sonnets will be judged on the use and interpretation of the theme in the work.

The judges decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.


The winners of each division will have their name inscribed on the trophy installed in Perera’s Bookshop, Stratford.  First, Second and Third place getters will receive book vouchers and a certificate.

Prize winners will be notified by mail.