Giant’s House

Top choice in Banks Peninsula

An ongoing labour of love by local artist Josie Martin, this whimsical garden is really one giant artwork, a combination of sculpture and mosaics that cascades down a hillside above Akaroa. Echoes of Gaudí and Miró can be found in the intricate collages of mirrors, tiles and broken china, and there are many surprising nooks and crannies to discover. Martin also exhibits her paintings and sculptures in the lovely 1880 house, the former residence of Akaroa's first bank manager.

In 2018, the Giant's House was awarded six stars as a Garden of International Significance.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Banks Peninsula attractions

1. St Peter's Anglican Church

0.33 MILES

Graciously restored in 2015, this 1864 Anglican gem features extensive exposed timbers, stained glass and a historic organ. Well worth a peek whether you…

2. Old French Cemetery

0.34 MILES

The first consecrated burial ground in Canterbury, this hillside monument makes for a poignant wander. Follow the trail (up the hill) off Rue Brittan.

3. Akaroa Museum

0.36 MILES

An arduous post-quake revamp has rewarded Akaroa with a smart, contemporary regional museum. Learn about the various phases of the peninsula's settlement,…

4. War Memorial

0.38 MILES

Unveiled in 1923, the elaborate cupola, spire and flying buttresses of the Akaroa War Memorial are a grand tribute to locals who gave their lives fighting…

5. St Patrick's Catholic Church

0.42 MILES

Akaroa's Catholic church (1863) is a cute, frilly edged old dear, featuring richly coloured stained glass imported from Stuttgart.

6. Customs House

0.44 MILES

Erected in 1858 near Daly's Wharf, this diminutive historic building helped to control the smuggling of alcohol into the town.

7. Hinewai Reserve

2.72 MILES

Get a glimpse of what the peninsula once looked like with a stroll through this privately owned 1250-hectare nature reserve, which has been replanted with…

8. Okains Bay Māori & Colonial Museum

7.59 MILES

Northeast of Akaroa, this museum has a respectable array of European pioneer artefacts, but it is the nationally significant Māori collection, featuring a…