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9. Te Kainga Marire

15 Spencer Place, New Plymouth, 4312

Te Kāinga Marire is the only private native garden sanctuary in New Zealand to be rated as a Garden of International Significance. Te Kāinga Marire’s (translated ‘peaceful encampment’) point of difference lies in the natural plant associations that evoke a feeling of the real New Zealand.

This native plant paradise was developed in 1972 from clay wasteland. Keen outdoor adventurers, the owners wanted a bird-friendly garden designed around the ecological groups they had observed in the wild. New Zealand native grasses, climbers, herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees have been carefully nurtured around rustic fences, a wetland, a colonial bush hut and cool fern-filled whare. Shy tui now regularly fly into the garden to feed. 

This garden features in the BBC series Around the World in 80 Gardens, which first screened in 2008. 

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