Anam Cara (Private)
Anam Cara (Gaelic: soul friend)
A hidden gem in the sunny Kapiti Coast, and a not so little garden. The mix of native and exotic trees greet you, as though you are in your own private oasis. All senses are evoked, the garden is rich in birdsong and delicate scents; your eyes are met with picturesque beauty and your heart captured by a sense of calm and tranquility.
The gardens are a mix of botanic and arboretum, formal in design and sprawled out over 10 acres. Anam Cara boasts its own microclimate encompassing nine garden rooms and orchards, with many native trees including a giant puriri, grove of rimu and grove of tōtara. Each garden room changes with the seasons and has its special time of the year to shine.
The garden was designed and created by Cynthia Coe in the mid 1980s from bare land after using it to sell cut flowers of the Erica variety. Cynthia was a writer/poet with an amazing vision and creative flair. After two years of dreaming, planning, researching, and utilising her artistic dance skills, the garden was designed as if it were a theatre. She believed gardening was very much about relationships, of shape, structure, colour and smell, bringing peaceful harmony.
In the mid 1990s, the gardens were open for bus tour groups, theatre readings, nursery and garden visits.
“I wanted a place where people could come to enjoy a poetry reading and listen to some good music…. a place where people could retreat to learn, know the peace of nature, and be refreshed in the quiet”
The property has also been used as a movie theatre and retreat centre.
The main focus now is hosting weddings and private events, garden tours and the annual Festival of Pots and Garden Art over Wellington Anniversary weekend in January which attracts over 4000 visitors each year.
Opening Hours and Tariffs
The gardens are open Monday to Friday by appointment only, with a minimum of 48 hours' notice (subject to weddings taking place).
Contact Details and Location
Physical Address: 150 Rangiuru Road, Ōtaki
Facilities and Amenities
Wedding, conference and event function centre with capacity for 120 guests
Accommodation for up to 18 people
Carparking for 70
Bus/Coach parking and turnaround area
Dogs welcome on a leash
Covered picnic areas - picnics available with 48 hours' notice
Morning/afternoon teas available with 48 hours' notice
Hosts the annual Festival of Garden Art and Pottery over Wellington Anniversary weekend in January
We look forward to welcoming you soon!