That’s right. There’s a tree church… in Ohaupo.
It was made by this guy whose job was transplanting trees, so he decided to transplant some into his own garden in the shape of a church. It looked so amazing that people persuaded him to open it to the public, and the rest is history.
It’s not just a church: there’s a whole massive garden to explore, with a labyrinth, a pond, a stunning avenue of trees and absolutely glorious flowers. And cats.
The ginger cat, in particular, has become world-famous for its habit of lounging in the Tree Church and charming the tourists. As soon as it saw me, it sprang up and trotted towards me, meowing. I never wanted to leave it!
The Tree Church is only open on Tuesdays and Sundays from late October until the end of March, between the hours of 10 and 4, but you can book it for weddings as well. It costs $15 to enter, and children under twelve are only allowed in by prior arrangement.
Whilst we were walking around, my partner Tim turned to me and said, “This has got to be one of the best places to go in the Waikato. Up there with Hobbiton.”
High praise, indeed.
It was beautiful. We had the perfect weather for it.
We ended up chatting to the owner for a while. The poor guy hates being stuck in the ticket booth when he could be gardening!
Sitting inside the Tree Church was so wonderfully peaceful. There was an altar, a bell and a crucifix, but also pentagrams on the doors. I didn’t feel especially spiritual inside it, because I’m not a spiritual person, but I could tell that other people would. I felt that it would be a magical place to spend time writing in.
If you fancy visiting this place, check out the Tree Church website.