Giant's House and Mosaic Garden Admission
Christchurch, New Zealand
- The house: Built in 1880 for a banker, this once-traditional wooden home retains many of its finest features – from the grand entrance hall and mahogany staircase to the light-filled conservatory veranda and farmhouse kitchen. Except now it's chock full of unexpected, whimsical details and artwork.
- The grounds: Josie Martin's penchant for horticulture is as vivid as her artistic output – and the garden shows it. Plush lawns and ranks of roses, vegetables, citrus trees and flower beds together create a multicolored terraced stage for fantasy to bloom.
- The garden of sculpture: The absolute star of this riotous show is the cavalcade of over-the-top sculpted mosaics that populate the garden. The result is a creative feast that rivals anything from Alice in Wonderland.
About This Christchurch Tour
It calls itself "the happiest garden on Earth," and that may well be true.
Near the quaint burb of Akaroa on craggy Banks Peninsula, the Giant's House and its whimsical sculpture garden are a place where your long-lost inner child can run free – while any actual children traveling with you will be just as jazzed.
Bold, fanciful mosaic installations completely inhabit the terraced gardens of this historic home, built of native hardwoods in 1880 for a bank manager. Over the years, its original grand French style has been magically transformed into something unparalleled, thanks to the quirky creativity of internationally recognized artist and horticulturist Josie Martin.
A vivid blue mosaic grand piano sits on the lawn, held open by slim balletic figures and planted with rosy succulents. Enormous mosaic angels and wizards offer their laps as thrones for visitors. A mosaic bass player riffs with his dancing accompanists, while poppies bloom along a wall adorned by lithe mosaic dancers balancing spheres on their toes and fingertips. A mosaic ship named Isola Bella sails through the garden, and a giant mosaic cat and dog peer over a sculpted bench.
Featured on top television programs and in prominent home, art, and garden magazines, this is an environment built on joyous optimism and boundless invention – all crafted in perfect harmony with its lush hillside setting, and sure to put a giant grin on your face.
No knock on this wood
While its showy garden mosaics get the lion's share of attention, the Giant's House is also a triumph in carpentry and joinery, constructed with legacy woods from two ancient New Zealand tree species. Kauri was prized for its parallel grain and tall trunks with no branching. Most of the massive first-growth kauri trees – many over 1,000 years old – were logged out by 1900. Hard, rot-resistant wood from the totara tree is still grown today for its outstanding durability. Historically, it's been the Maori's top choice for carving. You should also note that the Kauri, as well as other native New Zealand trees, now has legal protection.
Please make your way to 68 Rue Balguerie, Akaroa to begin your adventure.
Bring small coins for the bathroom. Take a light jacket or rain coat for the weather. Tour Product is within walking distance of the ship's pier in Akaroa.
The amount of walking is at the traveler's discretion while visiting the attraction. Varying surfaces will be encountered during your tour.
Cultural, Tickets, Walking Tour
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated mild. To participate fully, you may be required to walk over primarily even surfaces at a leisurely pace. You may encounter a limited number of steps, cobblestones, or uneven surfaces, and you may have to stand for extended periods of time.
Suitable for all ages.
Non-refundable if canceled within 24 hours of requested services.
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