Boy hugging tree

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Pukekura Park

Top choice in New Plymouth

Lush Pukekura has 49 hectares of gardens, playgrounds, trails, streams, waterfalls, ponds and display houses. In summer, rowboats (per half-hour $15) meander across the main lake (full of arm-sized eels), next to which the Tea House serves light meals. The technicolored Festival of Lights draws the summer crowds here, as does the impeccably mowed cricket oval. For the lethargic, 45-minute motorised buggy tours (adult/child $5/free) can whip you around to see the best bits; call for bookings.