Private Gardens


The Garden

Rockwood Station is a 1400 acre working farm set in the Canterbury foothills, near Windwhistle.

The historical homestead, with a beautiful woodland garden, is bordered by a 100 acres of native bush.

The garden was originally developed to an English garden design, in the 1850/60's, by the present owners great-greatgrandfather, Henry Phillips. It consists of old English trees, sequoias and rhododendrons and an orchard.  The river, which borders the garden, was redirected to create a series of ponds to breed fish and create lily ponds. When Henry died he was buried in the garden along with 3 other members of his family.

Over the years the ponds have been drained and the garden left to overgrow.

The present owner Ben Richards and his wife have embarked on a redevelopment plan removing sycamores, weeds and tidying up the graves with a new picket fence and laying paths. Replanting of rhododendrons, maples, fruit trees, some rare trees and other plants have also been carried out. The Homestead  has been recently re decorated in a classical style. There is also an 1850's slab/cob house sealed with Totara taken from the bush. A summer house is also under construction.

All this on going development has revealed the old hand built pond walls, now walkways, and trees that have been planted in rows, to Henrys garden design. It has also created a very peaceful and beautiful woodland garden bordered by the Native bush which now has a bushwalk. Native wood pigeons, bellbirds, fantails and other birdlife provide a very tuneful background sound.

Rockwood is a perfect, peaceful place to come and explore,walk or bring a picnic and relax in the gardens.

We also have a Shearers Hut for rent.

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Garden Details

Darts Rd, off Washpen Rd, RD 2, Darfield 7572
Mobile 0210672953 Tel 03 3186 809
64 3 3186 803
Contact Person
Ben and Cheryl Richards
Rockwood is open by arrangement for garden/house tours and the bush walk. (morning tea can be booked for groups)
Shearers accommodation also available by arrangement.
Garden Size
Deveoping Woodland garden which is bordered by 100 acre native bush with bushwalk and river on the other side.
We charge $10 per head to do the bush walk and walk in the garden.
Group bookings please enquire.
Brochure Available?
Yes we have a brochure that can be posted out.
Off street parking for buses coaches and cars.
Yes we have toilet facilities.
Food Available
Morning or afternoon tea if required, can be arranged for groups. Please enquire.
A small group can sit on our veranda and have a picnic or in our summer house by the river when completed.
Yes by all means bring a picnic which you can have on the lawn.
Wheelchair Access
The grounds are not really suitable for wheel chairs but you can drive your car through to see our graves.
Dogs Allowed
No dogs as we are a sheep farm.
Children Allowed
Yes but please supervise.
We have an old shearers cottage which is available for rent.
Please enquire
Plants/Other Sales
Yes we do on occasions have plants for sale.
Guided Tours
By arrangement.
Other Facilities

Bush Walk - takes about an hour of medium fitness level and is situated in 100 acres of private native bush. On the walk there are many native ferns, tree ferns, black beech, matai and white pine with wonderful birdlife and Rockwood stream alongside.The Bush Walk is next to the famous Washpen Falls Walkway on the neighbouring farm.

Morning tea - can be arranged for visiting groups. Please enquire.

Accommodation  - Shearers Hut. Please enquire. 

Cheryl & Ben Richards tel 033186809