Your hosts at Hereweka Garden Retreat are Peter Cooke and Anna Moore. Peter is the local Portobello General Practitioner while Anna works as a psychotherapist in Private Practice in Dunedin. Both now work part-time so they have opportunities to follow their other passions.
Anna and Peter met at University, and right from the start shared a passion for the natural environment, gardening, organics and sustainable practices. In 1983, with two young children, they fell in love with this property and felt that many of their dreams could be realised here. They purchased the property and named it Hereweka Garden.
Building a Luxurious Garden Retreat on the Otago Peninsula
Quite apart from the beauty of the surroundings there were many other aspects to this property which gave it huge potential. It was situated on a sheltered north-facing slope with a unique micro-climate allowing for a huge variety of plants to be grown. A ridge of original native forest had miraculously survived the plunder of clearing, burning and logging. There was abundant wildlife; both on the property and within easy reach of it.
Everything fell into place. The general practitioner for the area had recently left and Peter began practicing medicine as the local doctor. The medical practice had run down, so initially Peter was working part-time and spent his precious free hours developing Hereweka Garden Retreat. Anna stayed at home to look after their growing family - two more children were born here - and helped Peter develop the garden and nursery.
Stunningly Beautiful Ecological Accommodation
Since then, Peter and Anna have turned their dream into a reality. Today Hereweka Garden Retreat has a three acre garden, including a large organic vegetable garden and orchard. The ridge of native trees is protected by a QE II National Trust open space covenant, with the rest of the property planted out in several hundred exotic trees, many of which are rare and unusual. The property is managed by organic, sustainable methods. Open by appointment to visitors, it has become well-known and has been featured several times in major New Zealand garden magazines.