In the centre of New Plymouth city is Pukekura Park - a botanical wonder that was first opened in 1876. Once swamp land, the 52 hectare park is both a garden and a public recreation ground.
The park includes two lakes (one of which has wooden rowboats for hire) a children's playground, cricket ground, fernery and display houses, kiosk, fountain and waterfall, historic band rotunda and an entertainment venue - the Bowl of Brooklands.
National and international acts regularly perform at the Bowl of Brooklands, a natural amphitheatre positioned at the edge of a lake. At night audiences are treated to an amazing light show, because the water of the lake reflects whatever is happening on stage. Next to the Bowl are beautiful English-style gardens and a children's zoo.
Every summer Pukekura Park hosts the spectacular Festival of Lights. From December to February, hundreds of lighting displays turn the park into a huge, illuminated fantasyland.