Our Nursery

In 2008, generous support from the Sargood Bequest enabled the Trust to construct a nursery by the shores of Lake Wānaka, off Mt Aspiring Road, on land kindly leased by John & Jill Blennerhassett.

The nursery is nestled in the shelter of an extensive QEII covenanted kānuka forest that can be accessed via the Waterfall Creek track. The nursery has propagated and raised thousands of native plants for local habitat restoration projects. All the species propagated are sourced from local genetic stock (eco-sourced) and raised on site.

The nursery is managed by our Nursery Manager, and volunteers who help with propagation, care and weeding at our bi-weekly nursery sessions. ​

In 2019, we expanded our nursery, having run out of space. Thanks to grants from Sargood Bequest, Central Lakes Trust, Otago Community Trust, Longview Environmental Trust and donations, we were able to create a new area and re-organise our nursery.

In 2021, we started the second part of the nursery development to improve our facilities. We now have a sheltered area and a second container which has become our kitchen and office, a stunning deck overlooking the lake and mountains, and an improved shade house and propagation area. This second stage of the nursery development was made possible thanks to the dedication of our volunteers and thanks to the support of Sargood Bequest, Central Lakes Trust, Otago Community Trust, Rotary Club of Wānaka, Wānaka Lions, Sustainable Wānaka and Waste Free Celebrations.

Te Kakano Native Plant Nursery
Te Kakano Native Plant Nursery

Volunteer Days

Nursery volunteer days are open to all members of the public and are held every Tuesday & Wednesday from 9am-12pm (October to March) and 1pm-4pm (April to September).

Volunteer sessions are a great way to learn about native plants. Depending on the seasons, the tasks vary from propagation, cultivation, potting on, weeding, to general maintenance of the nursery. The sessions are guided by our Nursery Manager. We provide Venus coffee, tea and snacks for all our volunteers and you also get the chance to soak in the views on our deck.

Nursery visits for groups are also available, just ask.


From Waterfall Creek
From the Wānaka-Mt Aspiring Rd, turn right onto Ruby Island Rd. Park at the lower Waterfall Creek car park by the lakeside track then head back towards Wānaka along Roys Bay West via the Glendhu Bay Track. At the far end of the QEII covenant kānuka area, go over the stile and follow signs up to the nursery.

By Bike/Foot – along the Glendhu Bay/Roys Bay Track from Wānaka
From Wānaka, bike or walk along Roys Bay West via the Glendhu Bay Track. After passing Edgewater Hotel and Rippon vineyard on the left, go over the stile and follow signs up to the nursery. If walking or biking to the nursery is not an option for you, we can organise a drive-in via Rippon Vineyard, so please get in touch to access the private road.

Te Kakano Native Plant Nursery

Our Plants

All our plants are eco-sourced, which means that we collect seeds or cuttings from native plants in the Upper Clutha region and grow them on-site at our nursery.

Eco-sourcing provides a valuable advantage to our plants, because the seeds and cuttings are taken from plants that have grown and adapted to this region throughout their lifetime. They have better chances of surviving and thriving than plants that have been sourced from a different region. It is also important to use local species and local seed sources to retain the natural character of the region.

We currently grow a mix of at-risk and threatened native species, alongside more common ones.


We collect seeds from local areas, with permission from the Department of Conservation, and grow them at our own community-based nursery.

Our policy is to collect seeds from different locations each year to maintain genetic diversity in our plantings. We have seeds from Motatapu Gorge, Fernburn, Matukituki River, West Wānaka, Mou Waho Island, Stevenson’s Island, Clutha River Outlet, Luggate, Hāwea River, Glendhu Bluffs, Queensberry Hills and the Millennium Track/Ironside Hill.

Te Kākano is able to provide eco-sourced native plants for eligible re-vegetation projects by local community and not-for-profit groups. Feel free to contact us to discuss your restoration needs.

We are set up to support community habitat restoration projects in the Upper Clutha Basin which are on public or reserve land and those which have public amenity value. We do not sell plants to the general public for personal use on private land.

Te Kakano Eco-sourcing Natives


New Zealand’s biodiversity is unique and found only here in our country, which makes it special but highly vulnerable. Our work focuses on native habitat restoration so that native, endemic and threatened species can flourish.