What started out as a hobby for Mike and Maureen Henry has turned into a sensational Garden of National Significance with a five star rating from the New Zealand Gardens Trust. Chantecler, the Henrys’ 16 hectare/40 acre property, which they purchased in 2003 as a holiday home, features 4.8 hectares/12 acres of ever-improving gardens centred in the stunning, mountain-fringed area between Queenstown and Arrowtown. Since retiring from their busy Auckland careers and moving permanently to Chantecler, the couple has carefully and cleverly developed the grounds into an array of internationally themed gardens including the English Garden, Tuscan Garden, Oriental Garden, French Garden and New Zealand Native Garden. With sculptures, water features, an orchard, kitchen garden and bridges nestled amongst the stunning themed areas, Chantecler promises surprises at every turn, whatever the season. Late spring and early summer bring a profusion of colour and scent to the sprawling grounds of Chantecler, as the numerous varieties of bulbs burst into flower, joining the hundreds of rhododendrons, azaleas, peonies and camellias. The abundant roses in full bloom in the Formal Garden are a sight to behold at this time of year, as is the expansive and aromatic lavender field of the French Garden. Magnificent mature trees are another feature at Chantecler, with redwood, oak, maple, willow and other exotic varieties having been planted by the original landowners who farmed here decades ago. Allow yourself at least an hour to explore the expanse, beauty and variety of Chantecler.
How to get to Chantecler Gardens
A 10 minute drive from central Queenstown or a five minute drive from Queenstown Airport, Chantecler is located at 14 Lower Shotover Road. After crossing the Shotover River on SH6, turn left at the first roundabout onto Lower Shotover Road. 100 metres along the road, at number 14, turn right into the schist stone entranceway of Chantecler and follow the driveway.
Scroll through pictures below of our recent visits to Chantecler, including meeting gardener and host Mike Henry.