Tuesday 27th October – Friday 30th October 2020

Hosted by the South Canterbury Rhododendron Group

Based at Caroline Bay, Timaru,
Central South Island


The organising committee extend a
cordial invitation to all NZRA members,
friends and overseas visitors to the
South Canterbury region to view both
town and country gardens and places of
interest, including a castle.

R. 'Sheila McLeod'
  • Accommodation: Motels listed are all close to the conference venue, walking distancefor most people.

  • Car parking: There is ample free parking on Caroline Bay for those with cars.

  • A bus will be made available to transport attendees from the Christchurch Airport to Timaru on Tuesday afternoon. This is providing there is sufficient demand. Departure time to be notified. This bus will return to Christchurch Airport on Friday afternoon.

  • Foliage’ is a theme for the conference.
    A display of Rhododendrons with interesting
    foliage will be on show.

  • Bloom display

  • Guest Speaker – David Millais

  • Workshop presenter – David Millais

  • Gardens will be visited in the Timaru and Waimate regions. These range from large country to small town gardens, some long established others newly developed. You will be taken through some beautiful South Canterbury countryside.

  • Castle visit - A Tour of the interior of the castle is an optional extra. This is to be booked when you register for conference. The entry fee is $25.00. Enjoy lunch in the amazing garden at ‘Riverstone’ and take the opportunity to visit the castle


  • Post Conference Tour 30th October – 1st November: This tour will visit gardens in the Geraldine and Mid Canterbury regions.


David Millais - Guest Speaker and Workshop Presenter

David is held in high regard in the world of rhododendrons. He runs a family nursery at Farnham about an hour out of London, which stocks one of the widest ranges of rhododendrons and azaleas in the world. Before joining his father’s business he managed a 20 hectare nursery in Dorset, England, later working for Brigg’s Nursery in Washington State, USA and the Rhododendron Species Foundation as an intern. It was in America that he came to love rhododendrons.
David held the position of Chairman of the RHS Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia Group for 5 years until June this year. His nursery stand won Gold at the 2013 Centennial of the Chelsea Flower show.
For further information visit:https://www.rhododendrons.uk/about-us/25-about-us


Millais Nursery Display at Chelsea 2013


Australian Rhododendron Association’s Conference

Following the New Zealand conference David Millais will go to Tasmania where he will be the guest speaker at the Australian Rhododendron Association’s conference. NZRA has worked closely with the Australian Rhododendron Association ensuring attendees can on to the Tasmanian conference following the New Zealand conference. Not only are these gatherings educational but the social networking that occurs is invaluable. It is also an opportunity to gain access to some of the best private gardens in the world.

Dot’s Incredible Castle at ‘Riverstone’

For 30 years Dot Smith was planning her castle. She had a clear idea of what she wanted. When turning 60 in 2008 she, in consultation with her husband Neil, decided the time was right to build their little castle. After much deliberation and changing of plans Neil, came up with the idea of using a 4 hectare boggy site near the restaurant where a lake for farm water storage and an island for the castle could be built. Despite several setbacks along the way, Dot’s dream has come true. Treasures she had been collecting from all over the world now furnish the 12,000 sq ft castle.
Read more at: http:// stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/houses/107559614/inside-dots-incredible-oamaru-cast



Post Conference Tour

Afternoon of Friday 30th October – Sunday 1st November
Finishing in Christchurch

Following the closing of Conference on Friday 30th October those taking part in the Post Conference Tour will visit a garden before arriving in Geraldine. Accommodation will be in Geraldine for two nights. On arrival an opportunity will be given to visit the shops and walk the rhododendron dell. Four gardens will be visited in the Geraldine area on Saturday. Sunday you will visit gardens in the Mid Canterbury area on route to Christchurch, arriving late afternoon. Dinner, bed and breakfast will be arranged close to the Christchurch Airport. Expressions of interest in this tour would be appreciated to assist with planning.

Enquiries regarding the Post Conference Tour: Joy and Bernie O’Keefe
Email: joybernie@gmail.com



All within reasonable walking distance of the conference venue.

Panorama Motor Lodge
52 The Bay Hill, Timaru
Ph 03 6880097
Email lets-stay@panorama.net.nz

Bay Viaduct Motor Lodge
6 Wai-iti Road, Timaru
Ph 03 6866338
Email bayviaduct@xtra.co.nz

Harbour View Motels
8 Evans Street, Timaru.
Ph 036866811
Email: hvmotel@xtra.co.nz

Benvenue Hotel & Motor Inn
16-22 Evans Street, Timaru
PH 03 6884049
Email: stay@benvenuehotel.co.nz

Town House Motel
29 Evans Street, Timaru
Ph 036844149
Email: townhousemotel@xtra.co.nz

Bay City Motor Lodge
10-14 Evans Street, Timaru
Ph 03 6888800 0800229248
Email: baycitymotels@xtra.co.nz

Bay Watch Motor Lodge
7 Evans Street, Timaru
Ph 03 6881886
Email: Baywatch1@xtra.co.nz

Homestead Lodge Motel
28 Evans Street, Timaru
Ph 03 6845193
Email: homesteadlodgemotel@xtra.co.nz

Sea Breeze Motel
28 The Bay Hill, Timaru
Ph 03 6843119
Email: seabreezetim@xtra.co.nz

Conference Convenor: Rosie Morten
 Ph. O36939058
Email: orariest@xtra.co.nz

Timaru Registrars: Annette and Richard Hill
Ph. 03 3228182
Email: timconf20@gmail.com

Caroline Bay


The conference venue is situated on Caroline Bay, a beautiful parkland area in walking distance to Timaru’s main shopping and business centre. A large bird aviary, children’s play area, a boardwalk to the popular sandy beach and the Trevor Griffith Rose Garden are just a few of the features enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. An impressive piazza straddles the railway line providing access for pedestrians from Timaru’s main street. Caroline Bay’s summer carnival, run by volunteers has been operating for over 100 years.


Location Map: Timaru is located on the east coast of the South Island, 165 km south of Christchurch and 197 km north of Dunedin