The Giant's House


The Garden

Artists Garden

Surprises everywhere in this glorious garden - mosaic steps, an extraordinary sculptural wall mosaic, welded steel sculptures and other creations. Colourful gardens of roses vegetables, citrus, flowers. Very unique.

The Giant's House - A historic Akaroa house with original artworks, terraced gardens with sculptures and mosaics. Very Unique. A creative feast and a wonderful experience. Romantic secluded and quiet, but only a few minutes walk to the centre of Akaroa.

The Giant's House was the first bank managers house in Akaroa, built 1880 of Totara and Kauri. It is grand in size, proportions, and features. Elegant and comfortable, it is designed and decorated in the French style. Being the home of an artist it balances and contrasts the historic and contemporary. Both the house and terraced gardens are full of surprises -expect the unexpected at The Giant's House!

The house has many extraordinary features - a grand entrance hall with mahogany staircase imported from France, original open fireplaces, beautifully proportioned rooms, a conservatory with mosaic floor, a large sunny sheltered verandah, quirky bathrooms, bright yellow farmhouse kitchen, comfortable large bedrooms with unique artistic features and artwork throughout.

At The Giant's House you will be pampered, and stimulated, in surroundings that will uplift your soul!- a very special experience, quite 'out of this world'.

The Giant's House has featured on top television programmes and in numerous house/art/garden magazines, papers both Nationally and Internationally. Her garden featured on "Maggie's Garden Show", Australian TV, the "NZ Gardener" the NZ House and Garden and in "Next" Magazine. Extreme Homes of the World documentary, supreme award winner "My House, my Castle". View Map

The Gardener

Josie's work is firmly optimistic and ultimately, derived from the observation of the world around her. Known as a painter for many years, starting out traditionally and evolving into lively, colourful abstract paintings, her work took a turn into sculpture in 1993 adding a new dimension to her work.

Josie has been experimenting and working on her visual ideas with open minded seriousness, exploring paint, colour, form and materials intuitively, continually expressing a 'joi de vivre' with that hint of mischief which provokes change. Ever adventurous Josie is mindful of the larger world and other ways of seeing. Josie's elegant abstract sculptures are seriously playful and a celebration of life. They are surreal, biomorphic entities, whimsical and flamboyant, organic and eccentric. Constantly changing metamorphosing forms confronting or circumscribing void spaces refer to her interest in horticulture reflecting the zany balance of nature.

Her work seems to pulse with a continually evolving sense of growth and development, with unpredictability and surprise in the final results. Josie's sculptures are in private collections and displayed in her Akaroa terraced garden, along with her large sculptural mosaic installations. She is currently working on a large light up sculptural mosaic and other mosaic installations She is a regular exhibitor with numerous solo and group exhibitions in NZ and overseas.

Josie is the recipient of a number of awards and scholarships and has also undertaken art residencies in Assisi, Italy; the International School of Art in Todi, Italy, the Vermount Studio Center in USA and at the MacDowell Art Colony, New Hampshire USA, and South of France. Josie's home "The Giant's House", a grand historic home built in 1881. The Giant's House is a very special, unique and spiritual environment, situated in the historic French township of Akaroa, east of Christchurch. Her artists garden is open to the public and to those who stay in the bed and breakfast accommodation. Josie has a Diploma in Horticulture.


Garden Details

68 Rue Balguerie.To get to The Giant's House drive down the main road of Akaroa until you get to the BNZ Bank. Once at the Bank take a left at Rue Balguerie and drive up the hill. Linton is about 2/3rd's of the way up on the right hand side, you will see our funky mail box with the tea pot at the bottom of the drive.
64 3 304 7501
Contact Person
Josie Martin
In Summer the garden and gallery is open from 12 to 5 PM daily from the 26th December to the 30th April.
In winter the garden and gallery is open from 2 to 4 PM from 1st May to the 24th December, except the days that the Cruise ships visit, then the garden and gallery is open 12:30 - 4 PM from. This is from October through to December.
Garden Size
Three quarters of an acre. Allow 1hour, some stay for hours.
Family concession prices:
2 adults +one child is $45
2 adults + 2 children is $50
2 adults + 3 children is $55
Group visits House, Garden and Gallery is $22.50+ GST per person.
Brochure Available?
2 car parks off street. On street parking for buses and coaches.
Food Available
Enjoy scrumptious light lunches here at the Artist's Palate, offering you the full experience to enjoy in fine food and drinks surrounded by art.
Cafe/Resaurant Available
The 'Artisit Palate' Cafe open 26th Dec - 30th April
Wheelchair Access
Dogs Allowed
Children Allowed
Josie is your host for bed and breakfast accommodation.Your rooms are spacious and comfortable, with views of the garden and harbour. A generous continental breakfast is provided. At The Giant's House you will be pampered. As well as twin and single rooms Josie has two special, spacious double rooms - one downstairs - the Rose room - with a lovely conservatory bathed with the morning sun and a mosaic garden in the ensuite, and the other with an "original" boat bed and view of the Akaroa harbour warmed by the afternoon sun.
Yes we will arrange a ceremony, with extras but we don’t do receptions
Plants/Other Sales
The Giant's house Contemporary Art Gallery opened on 13th December 2009 and designed by Sir Miles Warren, is now part of the garden visit. Josie Martin's art work/ paintings are now on exhibition for sale.
Guided Tours
Yes, Groups by appointment only (20 plus)
Function Center Available?
Other Facilities
Josie's concerts/soirees are professional and intimate.

The Gaints House, being a creative environment, is the venue for the International Art Workshop, Akaroa and other painting/drawing/sculpture workshops which take place early March and April.