This years 'Great Barrier Island Garden Tour' is poised to be as spectacular as ever and with tickets selling steadily, organisers anticipate the 150 guest 'sold out' capacity likely to be achieved.
Now in it's 7th year, the 'Spectacular By Nature Garden Tour' is the Great Barrier Island Community Health Trusts major fund raiser event and it provides an opportunity for local residents and businesses to 'give back' by way of donating their time & resources to what they see as an essential and integral part of their community.
So - how did this iconic Barrier event come about? Why is it so popular?
Trust member and rural nurse specialist, Leonie Howie came up with the initial idea and together with Tryphena resident & fund raising/marketing whizz Gerry Downie, the vision grew - and grew! "It's just a winning formula really" says Leonie. "It's special... The whole community gets behind it and I've come to realise over the years that although visiting beautiful and interesting gardens is the main draw-card, 'meeting the locals' and 'feeling part of a community effort' is a huge part of the overall enjoyment experienced by the participants".
And enjoy it they do...
With a variety of unique tour options available, many guests book for the following years event while they're still on the island!
"The funds raised are always used to obtain special equipment for the Health Trust" Leonie tells me... "Over the years we've been able to purchase things like emergency trolleys, special defibrillators and monitors".
We've certainly come a long way. I remember the days when Dr Howie, now in his 32nd year of island practice, would consult his patients in the back of an old campervan parked on the lawn of his Kaitoke property. But that's another story.
What: The Great Barrier Island Garden Tour
When: 29th November 2014
Bookings and Info: Here