Pompallier Mission (Public)
The gardens were created in 1879, long after the founding French Mission here was abandoned. Meticulously researched and restored to its full glory as the Victorian/Edwardian garden of later lay owners, and now proudly part of the Russell kiwi-recovery project, this is also home to rare and endangered native birds and insects.
The Pompallier gardens are a woman’s design: Jane Mair developed deep and curvaceous flower borders planted with a casual mixture of annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees – a 19th century style described as a ‘promiscuous’ and contrasting with the then-more popular geometric planting trend. Jane passionately sought out the exotic plants being introduced into New Zealand in her time. Her scented elaegnus hedges inter-planted with colourful tecoma, create shelter from salt winds and lovely enclosed spaces for the enjoyment of all.
Jane’s was also a practical family garden, famously producing for the home kitchen. She developed that other staple of colonial living, the orchard, set with the popular cultivars of her time that today are rare. Lawn tennis court and flagpole were added in the first years of the 20th century and the hillside set out with specimen native and introduced trees, now maturing.
This is a heritage garden to explore, from the lawn and fragrant flower borders, through the orchard to the woodland hillside and pre-European pa behind – a single landscape that beautifully encapsulates our national heritage. Garden tours are offered by appointment.
Opening Hours and Tariffs
Pompallier Mission is open seven days a week from 10am - 4.45pm
Tour times are 10.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm, 2.30pm & 3.30pm
French Coffee House on site is open 7 days from 9.00am – 3:30pm.
Prices: Adults: Tour cost: $15, Garden visit: $7 (no access to printery building), Children: Free
Free entry for members of Heritage New Zealand
Recommended visit 1 hour plus
Contact Details and Location
Physical Address: The Strand, Russell
Phone: 09 403 915
Facilities and Amenities