Pukekura Park

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Pukekura Park
The main lake at Pukekura, with Poet's Bridge and Mount Taranaki in the background
Ground information
Location10 Fillis Street, New Plymouth, Taranaki
Coordinates-39.0624104, 174.0785908
End names
South Terrace End
North City End
International information
Only ODI23 February 1992:
 Sri Lanka v  Zimbabwe
Only women's Test12–16 February 1992:
 New Zealand v  England
First WODI16 January 1982:
 New Zealand v  Australia
Last WODI18 January 1982:
 New Zealand v  England
First WT20I4 March 2016:
 New Zealand v  Australia
Last WT20I22 March 2018:
 New Zealand v  West Indies
As of 1 September 2020
Source: ESPNcricinfo

Pukekura Park is a Garden of National Significance,[1] covering 52 hectares near the heart of New Plymouth, Taranaki in New Zealand.


The gala opening of New Plymouth's 15 hectare Recreation Ground was held on 29 May 1876. During the day the first trees were ceremonially planted by Miss Jane Carrington, the daughter of surveyor Frederic Alonzo Carrington: an oak for Great Britain, a pūriri for New Zealand, a Norfolk Island pine for the South Pacific Islands and a Pinus radiata for America.[2][3] The ceremonial spade used to plant the trees is held in the Puke Ariki collection in New Plymouth.[4]

The park contains a diverse range of native and exotic plants. Various easy walking trails cross the park and meander along the lake sides, taking in the features of the park. Among these are the picturesque Poet's Bridge,[5] which was opened on 11 March 1884.[6] There is also a man-made cascading waterfall and a fountain in the aptly named Fountain Lake. Row boats can be hired for rowing on the main lake.

Sports and music[edit]

Pukekura Park is a popular events venue.


At the north-western end of the park is a cricket ground, established in the 1880s which is noted for the beauty of its setting. The first game of cricket there was played in 1892.[2]

After the team's visit to play a two-day game against Taranaki in January 1936, the Marylebone Cricket Club captain Errol Holmes wrote:

... when we went to the ground, we were struck with its beauty, and decided that it must be one of the most attractive that could be imagined. On three sides it was surrounded by high banks, giving it the facilities of a natural amphitheatre. The pavilion stood on the fourth side which, in turn, led out on to Pukekura Park, famous for its assortment of trees and banks of hydrangeas almost as big as houses, while, away to the south, rose the peak of Mount Egmont, snow-capped, serene and splendidly aloof.[7]

The ground has hosted first-class cricket since the 1950–51 season, when the Central Districts cricket team was established and began playing some of its matches there. As of 2021, 55 men's first-class have been played on the ground, with the last match played in 2015. Central Districts men's and women's sides continue to use the ground in List A and Twenty20 cricket competitions.[8]

The ground first hosted international cricket in 1982 when three Women's One Day International matches were played on the ground. A women's Test match was played on the ground in February 1992 and later in the same month a single men's international match, a One Day International in the 1992 Cricket World Cup,[8] was played on the ground with Sri Lanka beating Zimbabwe in a high-scoring match by three wickets with four balls to spare. Zimbabwean Andy Flower scored a century during the match, making 115 not out.[9] Three women's Twenty20 International matches were played on the ground between 2016 and 2018.[8]

Today the park can only host domestic fixtures because of the small boundaries and lack of international standard facilities.

Other sports and events[edit]

In August 2021, domestic rugby returned to the venue for the first time in 79 years when host Taranaki defeated Hawke's Bay 33–19 in the National Provincial Championship in a one-off match.[10] Other Taranaki home matches will be played at TET Stadium.

On the eastern side of the park is New Plymouth Raceway, a horse racing course. Between the racetrack and the park is TSB Stadium, a 4,500 seat multi-purpose indoor stadium which is home to the Taranaki Mountainairs basketball team of the New Zealand NBL.

Near the southern end of the park is the Bowl of Brooklands amphitheatre, which commonly hosts music events. The annual WOMAD festival is held at Pukekura Park.[11]


Pukekura Park is also home to the popular Tea House on the Lake, which has been situated on the main lake since the 1930s.[12]

Pukekura Park is the venue for the annual Festival of Lights, which runs for free every year from mid-December to early February. It has daytime and night time programmes of events for people of all ages, and the festival itself transforms the park into an illuminated wonderland every evening.[13]

In 2007, Pukekura Park was the winner of the "Mayfair" spot in a nationwide competition for places on Hasbro's New Zealand edition of Monopoly.[14]


  1. ^ "Pukekura Park & Brooklands". New Zealand Gardens Trust.
  2. ^ a b "Pukekura Park Timeline". terangiaoaonunui.pukeariki.com. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  3. ^ "Planting the first tree in the Recreation Grounds". Taranaki Herald. 31 May 1876. p. 2. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  4. ^ "Spade, Garden". Puke Ariki Collection Online. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  5. ^ "Poet's Bridge". Puke Ariki.
  6. ^ "Pukekura Park History". New Plymouth District Council.
  7. ^ Errol Holmes, Flannelled Foolishness, Hollis & Carter, London, 1957, p. 133.
  8. ^ a b c "Pukekura Park, New Plymouth". CricketArchive. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe 1991–92". CricketArchive. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Taranaki Bulls' history-making game at New Plymouth's Pukekura Park a success". Stuff. 8 August 2021. Retrieved 6 September 2021.
  11. ^ "WOMAD New Zealand". WOMAD.
  12. ^ "Tea House". Wisteria Fudge.
  13. ^ Lee, Hannah (7 January 2016). "Pukekura Park 'buzzing' with huge crowds attending Festival of Lights". Taranaki Daily News.
  14. ^ Lee, Hannah (8 April 2016). "Another five-star rating for New Plymouth's Pukekura Park". Taranaki Daily News.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°3′52″S 174°4′46″E / 39.06444°S 174.07944°E / -39.06444; 174.07944