The park covers about 52ha (128 acres) and contains a diverse range of landscapes, including many plant collections, exotic specimen trees, formal gardens, lakes and walking trails through native bush.
The park includes the Fernery as well as the adjacent garden estate area of Brooklands, home to the acclaimed TSB Bowl of Brooklands and Brooklands Zoo.
Pukekura Park is also the backdrop for the annual TSB Bank Festival of Lights – a spectacular event held from mid-December to early February.
Pukekura Park began its life as a barren and swampy valley, and over the decades it has been shaped into one of the best inner city parks in New Zealand.
It opened in 1876 as the 15ha Recreation Ground – a name it kept until 1908 when it changed to Pukekura Park. To mark the 1876 opening an oak for Great Britain, a puriri for New Zealand, a Norfolk Island pine for the South Pacific islands and a Monterey pine for America were planted
In 1934 the adjacent Brooklands, a private family farm estate dating from 1843, was bequeathed to the people of New Plymouth and became a public park. On 25 February 1958 the natural outdoor amphitheatre Bowl of Brooklands opened with the first Festival of the Pines event.
More recently, Pukekura Park was a major location for the Tom Cruise movie The Last Samurai.
Source: New Plymouth District Council