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“our the most unexpected place in New Zealand”
Review of The Giant's House

The Giant's House
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Akaroa Self Guided Audio Tour
Ranked #1 of 32 things to do in Akaroa
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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!
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children
Almaty, Kazakhstan
1 review
“our the most unexpected place in New Zealand”
Reviewed December 6, 2012

In August 2012 we (Dmitriy from Almaty, Kazakhsatn and Svetlana from Saint-Petersburg) visited the Giants House in Akaroa, created by Josie Martin and her friends. It was the last day of our marvellous 10 days trip in New Zealand and definitely it was most fantastic and unexpected impression. Being a geologist, I planned to spent time observing volcanic rocks and landforms of old Acaroa volcano... but fortunately we found that place in the village (located in the volcano's crater) and spent there all time we had. Its incomparable. We've seen some remarkable places of that kind - ethereal Milles Garden in Stokholm, tremendous Vigeland Park in Oslo, touching Sculpture Park in Bishkek (Kirgisia), Kirovka street in Chelyabinsk (Urals) with alive cast iron sculptures, bright Lubenko's Mosaic Yard in Saint-Petersburg... All of them are unique, and the Giants House is the most magic from them. It just returns you to the childhood, to the sunny and endless morning... Thank you, Josie!

Visited August 2012
Thank DmitriyGurevich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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753 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Level 6 Contributor
223 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 286 helpful votes
“Amazing experience”
Reviewed November 20, 2012

I am a seasoned garden visitor having been to many garden festivals in NZ and around the world. This garden is AMAZING and I would recommend to anyone. We visited on a fabulous sunny day and were fortunate to have a chat to owner Josie while there. The art is a one off and the vision this lady had for art and gardening is incredible. I thought it a little pricey as other reviewers have said at $20 but overlooked that as the afternoon was a delight.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank Camda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A very pleasant time”
Reviewed November 5, 2012

The more you look the more you find. It's obvious that the artist has put heaps of thought and love into the garden. I enjoyed the vibrant colours and the clever and creative placement of the mosaics. There are lots of surprises in this really special garden. Quite an uplifting experience. I took so many photos!

Visited October 2012
Thank BeerwahTravelbug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“What a magical, tranquil, quirky place.”
Reviewed November 4, 2012

The Giants House absolutely rocks. That someones mind can conceive such a beautiful place is delightful and amazing! You can wander through the sculptures & garden until your hearts content and there is so much to look at I reckon you could go back many times and still be surprised by things you had missed. An amazing place that will thrill and delight no matter what age you are. Will definitely return and will bring others.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank sallystours
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level 5 Contributor
35 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Incredibly Rude”
Reviewed August 27, 2012

I was working onboard a cruise ship that visited Akaroa every 2 weeks, so I was looking for something new to do there. In my wanderings, I saw a sign for The Giant's House and had heard that it was nice, so I headed that way, not realizing how far away it was. When I finally got there, I discovered that that the entry fee was $20 and I only had five dollars on me. Since I'm an enthusiastic photographer, I was disappointed that I wouldn't get any nice pictures, so I thought I'd just take a photo of the entrance to at least record that I was there since I walked all that way.

That's when I got screamed at by the lady selling tickets: "You can't take pictures unless you pay to go inside!!". I said that I didn't have the money with me to go in, and that I was just taking a photo of the entrance and not the garden. Apparently that didn't matter, she insisted that I couldn't even take a photo of the entrance without paying. Upset and embarrassed at being screamed at in front of other customers, I left and never went back on any other stop in Akaroa. I was also sure to never recommend this place to the cruise ship passengers. That's no way to talk to anyone.

Visited February 2012
7 Thank LoveLiveTravel_CPH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Josie M, Owner at The Giant's House, responded to this review, August 29, 2012
Dear Serenada,
I am happy that you decided to visit The giants house. I'm sure you would have loved it and got
some really nice pics. I am in Beijing at the moment doing an Art residency.I apologize sincerely
for that bad situation, and felt very sad to read your comment,and hear what happened. The
"lady"must have been having a bad day, as normally all the staff are very friendly and warm.
I would like to offer you a free entry as a token of my apology and hope that after visiting you will
forget what happened.
I will be home on 5th October, so if you let me know what day suits you to come then either I will
be there or I can arrange a free pass.
Kind regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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