The House The Gardens Lord of the Rings History Contacts


Fernside is a grand country house set in a beautiful historic garden just 50 minutes from Wellington, New Zealand.

It was designed by renowned architect, Heathcote Helmore, for Charles and Ella Elgar in 1924, as a luxurious weatherboard, slate-roofed Neo-Georgian style house on an L-shaped plan - an elegant retreat for a wealthy family.

It was built with three generous reception rooms leading off a long hallway and stairs set out in a classical Georgian arrangement. The house also has the first private lift installed in New Zealand and also has a sun room, a flower room, wine cellar and library.

Based on the English model, the house also had the staff quarters separated from the owner's area. The layout was designed to minimize the sounds of the staff to preserve the tranquility of the owners.

High quality materials were used throughout, including large hardwood beams, Welsh slate roof, copper flat roofs, cast iron spouting, heart rimu weatherboards, solid concrete ring foundations, as well as oak and jarrah floorboards, and Carrara marble in the bathrooms.