Wairarapa Garden Tour – Pūkaha’s major fundraiser  

by Rachael Dell

Photos contributed by wairarapagardentour.co.nz

Spring is a wonderful time of year to get outside, see new sights and re-energise in nature. The weather’s usually a little warmer, the sun is out for longer and there is new life bursting forth in gardens all across the region.  It’s also a chance for garden-lovers to rejoice with the annual Wairarapa Garden Tour that raises funds for Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre.

This year the tour will showcase gardens mainly in and around Masterton. The route stretches from north-west Carterton through to Rangitumau, Opaki and Homebush. The tour is self-drive and will showcase a diverse mix of private gardens not usually open to the public.  

Last year the event sold out – despite the ups and downs of Covid-19. “While we can attribute the popularity of the 2020 garden tour to a renewed interest in gardening generally,” organiser Rachael Dell says, “It’s also a sign of the times with more Kiwis home and supporting local events”.



“There seems to be a real appetite for all things gardening at the moment – with many a ‘lockdown garden project’ helping to enthuse people to reimagine their backyards,” reflects Rachael.

The 2021 tour will feature a mix of gardens including contemporary designs for urban and rural spaces, dry loving plantings, an expansive formal rural garden, whimsical perennials, flowers galore in town and country and a 40-year-old garden reclaimed from farm paddocks.




“The beauty of attending a local garden tour (apart from gaining inspiration and learning from knowledgeable gardeners) is the chance to see what grows well in Wairarapa’s climate.”

Eight new gardens will join the tour this year. Several of these have never opened to the public before. Returning favourites Kinder Garden and Tarata will feature too.

There’ll be delicious refreshments in selected gardens, along with gardening treats and plants to buy. The tour has a zero waste kaupapa and supports local.


“The Wairarapa Garden Tour is such a lovely way to spend a weekend in the region, and an event that Pūkaha is proud to have initiated eleven years ago. It’s our national wildlife centre’s major annual fundraiser. We’re so grateful to our gardeners for opening their gates to support our conservation work at Mt Bruce. It’s a real community effort – from gardeners to volunteers and of course a growing audience of garden lovers,” says Emily Court, general manager of Pūkaha.

Visit Wairarapa Garden Tour for ticketing and further details about the 2021 event.