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Those passing through the tiny seaside town of Tapu, however, are missing a treat, only slightly off the beaten track at Rapaura Watergardens.
On a recent visit, Garden-NZ discovered a tranquil balance of man in harmony with nature on the Tapu-Coroglen Road.
Meandering along the bush and garden walks, visitors to Rapaura are sure to enjoy the wonderful displays of native and exotic flora, garden art, ferns, native bush and water features, all accompanied by the sounds of tuis, fantails, silver eyes and wood pigeons.
Originally created from scrubland in the early 1960s by German couple – Fritz and Josephine Loennig – these gardens are now entrusted to the tender, loving care of Sally Sank.
Visiting from Hong Kong in 1994, Sally took a walk to the waterfall, at one end of the property, and instantly fell in love with Rapaura’s serene atmosphere. She subsequently purchased the gardens and returned to her native New Zealand to live in one of the most stunning of Kiwi environments.
Registered as a garden of significance by Canterbury Horticultural Society, Rapaura is a garden not to be missed. It also offers accommodation, and meals through the Koru restaurant.
Rapaura Watergardens is open to the public year-round for $15 (adults) and $6 (children). Click here for more information; or here to view our full photo gallery.