Wanaka lavender farm by Ruth Ridley

Visiting a lavender farm in New Zealand

It was great to be able to visit one of the most Southerly lavender farms in the World on my holidays!

wanaka lavender farm sign

Lavender growing conditions

Wanaka lavender farm is on South Island New Zealand, about an hour from Queenstown, in an alpine area known for its cold winters and hot dry summers (although it was raining the day we visited!). This area replicates lavender’s native environment in Europe, where it prefers to grow at altitude in mountainous areas surrounding the Mediterranean. The lavender also appreciates the free-draining poor soil in the Wanaka area.

lavender herbs growing at wanaka lavender

I enjoyed meeting Tim who was happy to let me photograph his gardens and shop. Lavender is in his blood – his parents have been running Kaikoura Lavender (towards the N.E. of the island) for the last twenty years.

rows of lavender

Tim has been working to expand Wanaka Lavender over the last couple of years, with the nursery and shop opening recently.

dried lavender bunches
Dried lavender bunches hanging in the coffee shop

Lavender products

The oil is distilled an hour down the road, with a choice of Grosso which is commonly used in fragrance, or Angustifolia Pacific Blue for aromatherapy. They had a shop full of lovely products made with the oil, such as soaps, gels and lotions.

lavender essential oil aromatherapy

Herbs in the garden

I visited on the 6th March and had missed their harvest by about three weeks, but there was still plenty of colour in the garden. The garden benefited from some imaginative planting including native plants and grasses.

herbs at wanaka lavender farm
Standard rose surrounded by a wheel of thymes with mountain and low cloud behind.
thyme herb wanaka lavender
Thyme flowering in the herb garden
lavender and grasses
Grasses thriving in amongst the lavenders

It was good to meet you Tim!

If you would like to visit a lavender farm in the UK, there is a surprising amount of choice these days! I visited Isle of Wight Lavender last summer, who hold a national collection.

Written by Ruth Ridley