The Great Pumpkin Carnival was started in 2009 by Jenny Rowden as an event to celebrate pumpkins, showcase Hamilton Gardens and to be a fun family day out for people of all ages.

The very first event was held in the kitchen gardens which it quickly outgrew and is currently held on the Rhododendron lawn at the beautiful Hamilton Gardens.

Over the year’s The Great Pumpkin Carnival has grown and evolved to include more categories to enter, things to see and do and more fun for the whole family.

Home of firsts

The Great Pumpkin Carnival is currently the home of the heaviest pumpkin, ever grown in New Zealand,  weighing Tim Harris’s 808kg weighed on the 8th of April 2018

We were also the location of the very first pumpkin boats ever rowed in NZ, with the maiden voyage taking place in Turtle lake in 2014.

Pumpkin Boats Racing

Official GPC site

We are also the only weigh-off site in the country that is associated with the GPC (Great Pumpkin Commonwealth), the worldwide governing body for giant pumpkin weigh-offs.

Our next event

Our next event will be held on the 28th of March 2021 and we would love to see you there.

Minimum Sugar

We try and keep our even a minimum sugar event, by choosing food vendors that share this thinking with us and by making changes with what is on offer.