Visitors rate park up with the best

"It's really beautiful"

SUSAN STRONGMAN AND TARYN UTIGER
Last updated 05:00 19/06/2014
 Varghese, left, and Roshini Jackson and their son Melvin
CHARLOTTE CURD
PRETTY PICTURE: Varghese, left, and Roshini Jackson and their son Melvin took their first stroll in Pukekura Park yesterday, and say it’s the best park in New Zealand they’ve seen.

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There's no need to leave Taranaki if you want to see one of the antipodes' finest parks.

New Plymouth's Pukekura Park has been voted sixth best in the South Pacific in the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Attraction Awards.

And visitors to the jewel in the city's crown yesterday agreed it was one of the nicest they'd ever seen.

Though Roshini Jackson, originally from Kerala in India, has been working in New Plymouth as a nurse for six months, yesterday's trip was her first to the park.

With her husband Varghese and their 1-year-old son Melvin, the pair spent part of their day taking family snaps and enjoying the scenery.

"It's really beautiful, we've had a lovely day," she said.

The trio had even managed to avoid the rain during their outing and Roshini said their favourite part of the park was the cascading waterfall.

She said though there were many beautiful parks in her home in southern India, Pukekura Park was the best she'd seen in New Zealand.

Mayor Andrew Judd said continued maintenance of the park was imperative if the council wanted to keep collecting top honours.

But this is in stark contrast to the decision made by his councillors last month.

The elected members of council faced off over the main lake in Pukekura Park, with some describing it as just a "duck pond".

The council then voted against immediately continuing with the $1.2 million project to improve the water quality of the park's lakes, instead deferring the decision until the long-term plan.

Judd, who had wanted the work to proceed immediately, said the lake was not just a duck pond and council needed to protect the asset.

‘Despite his concerns he was full of praise for the award-winning park yesterday.

"We've always known Pukekura Park has been world class and now its been proven again," he said. "We are extremely proud of the jewel in the crown."

Top honour in the awards went to Perth's Kings Park and Botanic Garden in Western Australia and the highest-ranked Kiwi site on the list was Auckland's Cornwall Park in fifth place. Rankings were based on reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travellers.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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