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Garden visit increase for Taranaki Garden Spectacular

Media Release 21 November, 2012

Garden visit increase for 25th Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular

Increased public interest in the 25th annual Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular meant there were nearly 2000 more garden visits recorded for the 2012 event compared to last year.

The 10-day festival running from October 26 to November 4 enjoyed sunny spring weather except for two days of rain and wind – and even then the visitors kept coming according to Armstrong Garden owner Alathea Armstrong.

“Our visitor numbers are well up on last year with a good balance of out-of-town visitors to local visitors,” says Mrs Armstrong.

“Even on the first Saturday when it was windy and rainy – they were still coming to visit the garden!”

Garden visit numbers for 2012 were nearly 54,000 compared to nearly 52,000 for 2011 which is a fantastic visitor number in a struggling economy, says Festival Manager, Lisa Ekdahl.

“As well as having 51 premier gardens in our line up, we put a lot of effort into creating great events for visitors to celebrate our 25th year,” says Ms Ekdahl.

“The Frocks on Bikes, Spring Fashion, Secret Dining or guest speaker events were either sold out or very well patronised. What really captured people’s imagination was the Peranakan Lights installation at Pukekura Park. We estimate thousands of people, especially families, visited this magical light display.”

Supported with funding from the TSB Community Trust, and by power generation company Agrekko and Hooker Pacific transport company, the Lights were inflated, illuminated shapes screen printed with designs of traditional Peranakan art from South East Asia - renowned for its rich and opulent designs in ceramics, embroidery, screen-printing and architecture.

Festival organisers estimate approximately 75% of visitors to the Garden Spectacular were from out of town – backed up by Taranaki Motel Association spokesperson, Deborah Tawa.

“The association’s members have seen a noticeable increase in visitor numbers to the Festival over the last two to three years,” says Deborah who is involved with the Brougham Heights Motel, the Fitzroy Beach Motel and the Amber Court Motel.

“It was a great festival this year for visitor numbers – and kind weather always makes a difference!”

Tour groups hit a record this year bringing nearly 250 visitors to the region from as far afield as Australia says Lisa Ekdahl.

“Each year, we aim to live up to being New Zealand’s premier garden experience,” says Ms Ekdahl.

“Already we are assessing some great new gardens for the 2013 event so we will continue to offer garden lovers new and inspiring gardens to experience.”

For more information, visit www.gardenfestnz.co.nz or enquiries@gardenfestnz.co.nz or call 00 64 06 759 8412


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