This expansive garden spans more than seven hectares. It includes several unique features: three wetland ponds, a sunken garden and a QEII Trust covenanted area. It’s a restful sanctuary to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.
54 Cootes Road
The current owners purchased the property two years ago with much of the vision of the garden begun more than a decade ago. The garden was known then as ‘Tidsfordriv’ – meaning ‘activity to pass time’.
This garden first opened for the Wairarapa Garden Tour in 2012 – its three large wetland ponds were created to welcome wading birds, native waterfowl and invertebrates. Several years on, the water attracts a variety of birds each year and the constant chirping of frogs is a common sound on warm summer evenings. Colourful waterlilies nymphaea open en masse from September to March.
A formal sunken garden is framed by mature rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas – leading the eye towards the deep mauve foliage of a team of Japanese maples framing a wide-stepped entrance in the distance. It’s the ideal setting for formal celebrations.
Sweeping lawns and paths around the ponds will guide you around the garden. You’re also welcome to explore the mature trees up the hill in the QEII Trust protected area.
The name Halford Hideaway also refers to the tiny house accommodation near one of the ponds. Considerable maintenance work has been undertaken in the last year and half to to clear older gnarled trees close to the second and third ponds with new access paths for visitors to enjoy.
On tour weekend, enjoy delicious strawberries and ice cream provided by Hospice Wairarapa in the sunken garden.
Not all areas of the garden are wheelchair accessible. Closed-in shoes are advised for walking around the ponds.