Whanganui home owners will be opening their doors for charity in February as they join NZ House & Garden House Tours for the first time.

The tours have been taking place around New Zealand for nine years and Whanganui will join the line-up for the first time in 2018.

NZ House & Garden editor Sally Duggan says, "The tours kick off in Whanganui in February and we are really looking forward to visiting a city with such a rich heritage and where there's so much creativity and innovation happening in the community.

"The diversity of the houses is indicative of this – and so inspiring."


Ten Whanganui home owners have agreed to open their doors in support of the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ.

Kerry Girdwood is opening her beautifully refurbished Edwardian apartment in Victoria Ave.

"My home has been getting a lot of attention lately," said Ms Girdwood. "I am happy to support the Breast Cancer Foundation - it's a good cause."

The apartment is filled with light from the big windows and the large stained glass skylight above the stairway.

"It was quite bowed when I bought the place," said Ms Girdwood. "The metal frame was installed to support it when it was lifted."

She has filled the apartment with beautiful, era-appropriate furnishings and the walls are decorated with original artworks.

The stairs leading to the apartment have also been beautifully restored. Photo / Bevan Conley
The stairs leading to the apartment have also been beautifully restored. Photo / Bevan Conley

The other Whanganui properties on the tour list include a converted Sunday school hall complete with the original pulpit and organ, a brand new "beach bach" that takes its design cues from industrial Danish architecture and a classic 50s home that once belonged to modernist architect Don Wilson.

"The tours have always been special because they allow access to some of the most beautiful homes from various eras and offer behind-the-scenes glimpses of these renovations, makeovers or new builds," says Ms Duggan.

"Whether it's the sensitive design of an addition that honours the history of a turn-of-the-century villa overlooking Virginia Lake or the lure of a coastal cottage that brought an American couple all the way to this city by the river, the individual stories are fascinating."

The tour itself takes place on Friday, February 23, but Ms Duggan said she hopes groups of friends will get together and spend more time in Whanganui.

"There's something for everyone so it's the perfect excuse to get a group of friends together and make a weekend of it," she said.

"And if you haven't bought your bestie a Christmas present yet, house tour tickets make great gifts."

Visit www.nzhouseandgardentours.co.nz for more information.