Hurunui Garden Festival - Opening Night Dinner a Sold Out Winner

hurunui garden festival

 The Hurunui Garden Festival is a new event that features 21 private gardens from Amberley to Gore Bay, and Hawarden to Hanmer Springs. Garden owners are welcoming visitors to explore their gardens and enjoy the district’s warm hospitality, on Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th November 2018 from 9am to 5pm each day.

Festival Organising Committee Chair Marina Shearer says tickets for the opening night dinner sold out within one month of going on sale.

‘We’re delighted to announce the Opening Night Dinner is sold out’, says Shearer. ‘The combination of two excellent guest speakers, garden designers Kim Odering and Dan Rutherford, and a superb venue, the Heritage Hanmer Springs, has proved irresistible. It’s sure to be an entertaining and unforgettable night.’

Mayor Winton Dalley will officially open the Festival at the dinner, and guests will be able to enter a garden quiz to win a Pamper Pack from the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa. A waiting list for tickets has opened should there be any cancellations prior to the dinner.

Many of the 21 gardens in the Festival have never been opened to the public. For just $10 admission per garden (children accompanied by an adult enter for free), people will be able to meet the garden owners and learn how they’ve created their gorgeous gardens in a challenging climate. Shearer says the range of gardens will inspire and enthrall visitors.
‘There truly is a garden for everyone’, says Shearer. ‘From the celebrated Flaxmere Garden, that hosts Art in a Garden, to the expansive 5-hectare parkland paradise of Amberley House with its arboretum of over 2,500 different trees, to the garden at Cathedral Cliffs that clings to the hillside 100 metres above the Pacific Ocean, there’s such a diverse range of gardens on show.’
The gardens have been arranged into six clusters, making it really easy for visitors to spend less time travelling and more time enjoying the gardens. Three clusters are along State Highway 1 (Amberley, Waipara-Omihi and Cheviot-Gore Bay) and three accessible from State Highway 7 (Hawarden-Waikari, Waiau-Culverden, Hanmer Springs). Detailed maps with suggested touring routes may be downloaded from the Festival website (
Shearer says many of the gardens are hosting events to educate and inspire visitors.

‘Visitors can learn floral arts at Waihui Garden, butter-making at Ribbonwood Country House, propagating fruit trees at Loch Leven, and garden design at Saddlewood’, says Shearer. ‘There’s family photography at RhodoDirect and a fabulous garden party with live music at Amberley House on Sunday 4th November from 2pm to end the Festival on a high note.’
With so many gardens to visit, wineries, cafes, the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa and other natural attractions, Shearer expects many people will stay in the district to really get the most from the weekend Festival.
‘It’s no exaggeration to say the district has embraced the Garden Festival’, says Shearer. ‘We’ve been delighted with the enthusiasm of the garden owners, the support of local accommodation providers, cafes and attractions and also businesses from further afield who share our passion for gardens. It’s going to be a big weekend for the district.’
The Hurunui Garden Festival runs from Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th November 2018. For more information visit the website:

For more information:
Marina Shearer, Organising Committee Chair
(027) 591-6555