Mona Vale is a sanctuary of calm in the midst of bustling Christchurch. Gardens lined with rhododendrons and camellia sit next to a brilliant fernery, and a colorful rose garden provides the perfect moment for stopping to smell the flowers. The 13-acre gardens border the Avon River, and surround a homestead of Victorian architecture that is listed on the historic registry. Dating back to 1897, the elegant property has seen numerous owners make their own improvements to the grounds, and the exceptional gardens are a favorite location for wedding ceremonies in summer.
Unfortunately, the devastating earthquake of 2011 damaged many of the historic buildings, although the gardens remain open for strolling the grounds and drooling over the architecture from afar. In 2014, however, the city council approved the funds for the renovation of Mona Vale, and the famous buildings such as the Bath House and Homestead will be once again be open for visitors. Though nowhere as large as Hagley Park that dominates the center of Christchurch, the boutique nature of this Fendalton estate makes it one of Christchurch’s most peaceful outings.