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private garden

Thackwood Cottage & Garden

463 R D 1, Wakapuaka, Nelson


Thackwood Garden is nestled in a fourth-generation, 300 acre Farm, situated just 14km north of Nelson City. A love of the land has lead to the development of a two-acre English Cottage Garden as creative as it is filled with magical fragrances and secrets to discover.

Meander by garden sculpture, hidden pathways, tranquil seats, terraced banks and box hedges, past lemon groves and the formal areas and the Cherry Walk, pause awhile by the picturesque pond.
This sweeping greenbelt comprises of a native plant area, cottage plantings, formal areas and boasts over 180 roses, 100 rhododendrons and camellias. With over two acres to explore it may take a couple of days.

The Gardener

The Gill family originated from Baltonsborough in Somerset, England, they arrived in New Zealand on the “Mary Ann” in 1851, and within a few years, William Gill had purchased the Jollie land and established a small farm.

Over the years the family farm grew, and today Thackwood Cottage, (owned by Murray Gill, great-grandson of William, and his wife Karen) is set within 300 acres of farmland and steeped in history.

Garden Size

Set on 300 acres of farmland, there is a lot more than meets the eye at Thackwood Cottage. Take a hike out in the fresh air and explore all that it has to offer. This special retreat on a fourth-generation farm includes a spectacular walkway with fabulous views overlooking the picturesque Tasman Bay and Abel Tasman National Park. Take a stroll up into the rolling foothills and discover farm animals and birdlife.


Thackwood Cottage Garden, heralded as one of New Zealand’s most significant gardens, is available to hire for weddings, naming ceremonies, high teas and special occasions all year round.

Situated just ten minutes north of Nelson, with ample parking, this spectacular venue can accommodate up to 120 guests.

Your discreet hosts, Murray and Karen Gill provide tables for refreshments and signing of the register, draped in antique lace and decorated with freshly cut flowers from the garden. A kitchen is available for your caterer's convenience. Should you require changing or bathroom facilities, you may also hire Thackwood Cottage Boutique Accommodation.*

You and your guests can meander through the garden at leisure, and take advantage of the many photo opportunities. Stroll through the Wisteria and Rose arbour's to a wooden “love seat”. Take shade under the Cherry avenue, with its beautifully fragrant pink blossom, passing by Lavender and Dahlias as you make your way to the garden’s often photographed “kissing gate”. Continue along the grassy paths, beneath the young Pin Oak trees, underplanted with white and blue Hydrangeas as you make your way down to the duck pond, where you can sit in the rowing boat, or venture a little further to an antique farm cart, surrounded by Weeping and Tortured Willows, Calla Lilies and the blossoming Sir Edmund Hilary Rose.

Other Facilities

Thackwood Cottage Garden, heralded as one of New Zealand’s most significant gardens, is available to hire for weddings, naming ceremonies, high teas and special occasions all year round.

Beyond Thackwood Garden is a playground of pleasures and favourite pastimes all within a couple of hours drive of Nelson city. Including vineyards and wineries (over 18) three national parks, sea kayaking, walking and exploring Happy Valley Adventures galleries and artists, shopping, dining and cafes.


  • Price
    $10 per person.
  • Parking
    We have ample parking for buses coaches and cars. We have additional paddock parking for large weddings and events.
  • Wheelchair Access
    We are not suitable for wheelchairs.
  • Dogs allowed?
    No dogs as we have our own dog.
  • Food available?
    Lunches on request, ring for price. Morning and afternoon teas by arrangement. Coffee and muffin $10. Picnic lunch on request.
  • Picnics
    You are welcome to bring your own picnic, we can provide hot water.
  • Children allowed?
    Yes but please supervise as we have water.
  • Toilets?
    If necessary we have bathroom facilities in the cottage providing we don't have guests.
  • Seating
    Plenty of seating around the garden to sit and relax.
  • Accommodation
    Relax in our stylish, self-contained guest boutique cottage accommodation, with two queen bedrooms, tastefully decorated in French country style and set in a spectacular two-acre landscaped garden. The blue skies above Thackwood Cottage seem almost endless. From the doorstep of this boutique cottage retreat, you can see clear across rolling farmland to the warm blue waters of Tasman Bay, Nelson towards the Abel Tasman National Park. There are lots to discover at Thackwood Cottage, only metres away from your accommodation. Saunter for a few minutes and you’ll be glad you did. You could spy a sole heron preening in a field, or stumble upon a herd of cattle on the way to the milking shed… a mother duck feeding her ducklings on the pond, or farm dogs sternly mustering black-faced sheep in a paddock overlooking the sea.
  • Guided Tours
    Helicopter flights available on request. Farm walks to explore.


463 R D 1, Wakapuaka, Nelson

Thackwood Cottage is situated just 14km north of Nelson City, (view map), at the top of the South Island of New Zealand, about 10 minutes drive from the heart of the city. To make the most of the countryside a rental car is recommended as the Nelson region offers visitors a feast of gourmet delights, national parks and outdoor adventures, art and boutique wines – sheer bliss!