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Melbourne man wins Taranaki Rhodo Fest prize


30 April 2009

Melbourne man wins Taranaki Rhodo Fest prize

A Melbourne man who had never heard of Taranaki or its Rhododendron & Garden Festival is now planning an extended holiday to the region having won a competition at the recent Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.

Patrick Hogan was one of more than a thousand who entered to win a two-day Festival package and is now looking forward to visiting New Zealand and Taranaki.

“I’m now planning a visit in October to visit as many gardens as possible,” says Patrick.

“I’m a keen gardener and amateur photographer so I plan to be taking a lot of photographs in the gardens!”

Patrick has won tickets to Festival gardens, two nights’ accommodation at the Quality Hotel Plymouth International, tickets to a Jazz & Wine event, Festival merchandise and a year’s subscription to Weekend Gardener.

Taranaki Rhododendron and Garden Festival manager Lisa Haskell said the five-day Melbourne garden show was extremely busy with more than 100,000 visitors from all over Australia and overseas attending.

“We estimate around 10,000 people visited our stall – and they were really impressed with the green and lush imagery we had of Taranaki,” says Lisa.

“They were attracted to how different the New Zealand environment is – and that we have a festival opening up private gardens to the public which is a novelty to Australians.”

As the only New Zealand exhibitor at the Melbourne Garden Show, a gift bag of Taranaki’s Visitor Guide, brochures on Taranaki attractions and highways and a copy of last year’s Festival programme were given out to those interested in coming to Taranaki.

“We were surprised at how many Australians had been to New Zealand were looking for a good excuse to come back – we hope the Taranaki Rhododendron & Garden Festival will be just the right reason!”

The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show has been running for 13 years and is Australia’s biggest flower and garden show. The event site covers 10 hectares.


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