With its bright purple colour and distinctive floral aroma, lavender is a favourite flower for many. And while it may be known to repel moths, there are numerous other benefits and uses for lavender. For starters, it can be distilled into an essential oil to help reduce stress and promote better sleep. The flower is also believed to have antiseptic properties, which can assist the skin to heal naturally. What’s more, lavender has been featured in the culinary world for centuries and is still used today—think crispy chicken with herbes de Provence and lavender and elderflower cake.
The warmer weather is here, and that means it’s the season for lavender to bloom. Here are the best farms across New Zealand where you can stroll amongst the fields, take a picture for the gram and pick your own lavender. Hot tip: pop a few flowers into your next glass of champagne.
Wanaka Lavender Farm
Wanaka, South Island
Kicking off our list of New Zealand's best lavender farms, surrounded by towering green mountains and spread out across 15 acres of farmland is the Wanaka Lavender Farm. The property is nestled in the Otago region, 5kms from the local township of Wanaka and about an hour’s drive if you’re in Queenstown. Explore the farm, drink a herbal tea in the garden and say hello to the resident farm animals—there’s alpacas, mini donkeys and Shetland ponies. Finish off with a lavender ice cream. Open seven days a week.
Lauren’s Lavender Farm
Taumarunui, North Island
Devour a freshly-baked scone and hot coffee while overlooking a meadow of purple at Lauren’s Lavender Farm, located 15kms outside of Taumarunui in the central North Island. A family owned and operated business, Lauren’s Lavender Farm boasts over 7000 plants and there are candles, creams and body lotions to purchase there, too. After your coffee, stroll on down to the Whanganui River and see the cascading waterfalls, a must do.
Lavender Creek Farm
Kapati, North Island
“There are 330 different types of lavender at the collection garden,” says Vaughan, who owns Lavender Creek Farm with his wife, Susi. As well as lavender, there are grape vines and olive trees at the property, and if you’re looking for a romantic weekend away, there’s a B&B on site. Lavender Creek Farm is an hour away north of Wellington and is $5 for adults to enter—kids are free. Be sure to take home one of their award-winning oils.
New Zealand Alpine Lavender
Twizel, South Island
On your way to New Zealand’s highest peak, Mt. Cook, you’ll find New Zealand Alpine Lavender, the largest organic lavender farm in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the best lavender farms in New Zealand. The lavender farm is 600 metres above sea level and is surrounded by the Ben Oahu mountain range. Depending on when you visit, you may see snow-capped peaks. They grow three main varieties of lavender there including Pacific Blue, Avice Hill and Violet Intrigue.
Lavender Backyard Garden
Hamilton, North Island
Pick your own lavender and plump blueberries at the Lavender Backyard Garden, the only farm of its type in New Zealand and definitely a worthy addition to our list of NZ's top lavender farms. It’ll take you five minutes to drive there from Hamilton. The owners, Benjamin and Samantha, love natural products and it’s evident in their onsite shop- they sell everything from blueberry and lavender jam to lavender pillow mist. We also like the sound of the lavender massage oil.
Auckland, North Island
Escape the hustle and bustle of Auckland and head to Lavender Hill, a compulsory inclusion on any self-respecting list of New Zealand's best lavender farms. The property is on the outskirts of the city so it’s ideal for a day trip with friends or family. If you would like to stay a little longer, Lavender Hill has boutique accommodation options. On weekends and during holidays you’re welcome to walk around the lavender farm and see the olive groves, lemon orchard and alpacas. If the walking has made you parched, you can buy lavender infused gin to quench your thirst. Sounds like our kind of pick me up.
Lavendyl Lavender Farm
Kaikoura, South Island
Located in Kaikoura in the South Island is Lavendyl Lavender Farm, a tranquil destination with buzzing bees, sheep and native trees. Enjoy a picnic lunch with tea amongst the fields of lavender. During January and February you’re invited to observe the distilling process on the farm as the workers extract 100% pure lavender and rosemary essential oils.
Ben Lomond Lavender Farm
Queenstown, South Island
Concluding our list of New Zealand's best lavender farms, from December to April you can see lavender in bloom at the Ben Lomond Lavender Farm in the Wakatipu Valley—a 10-minute drive from Queenstown. The Manners Wood family own the property and have been growing lavender there since 1998. They say the environment and weather of Queenstown—cold winters, dry and hot summers, free-draining soils and elevation— produce the ideal conditions to grow high quality lavender. They make their own essential oils too, which are all organic.
Image credit: Wanaka Lavender Farm, Lauren’s Lavender, Lavender Creek Farm, New Zealand Alpine Lavender, Lavender Backyard Garden, Lavender Hill, Lavendyl Lavender Farm, Ben Lomond Lavender Farm