In Louise's words...... 'It can be hard to explain what you will find at Birdwoods because we have such a varied and unusual range of treasure across two locations.  It all has one unifying feature – everything at Birdwoods has a story. For almost every thing we have here, we’ve met or know the person who created it – whether that was in Africa, here in New Zealand or from foreign lands past. We are committed to trading fairly and respectfully with absolutely everyone.   At Birdwoods, we love things that are authentic, individual, quirky and honest, things that have their own character, humour and history and that make use of old things in new ways. And we also love bringing some of our local New Zealand creative talents to your attention, notably our son Jack, an emerging stone sculptor who works from his home in the Arrow Junction, displaying his pieces in the gorgeous Birdwoods Arrowtown Gallery - he is worth keeping an eye on!  So please do ask for the story behind the treasures you find here at Birdwoods – because everything has one!' 

Birdwoods Gallery - Havelock North

Both from third generation Zimbabwean farming families, Birdwoods founders Bruce and Louise Stobart, emigrated to New Zealand in 2004 with their three young children, Jack, Sophie and Harry.


 Birdwoods Havelock North today 

Birdwoods originally started in 1991 when Louise, started a business creating metal birds out of recycled oil drums on their commercial cropping farm in the Mazowe district of Zimbabwe. This grew into a highly successful export-based enterprise with Louise's metal birds being sent all over the world until 2003 when politics took a grip of Zimbabwe and almost everything was lost to a lawless corrupt government.

Louise with her stall of metal birds in 1991, The beginning of Birdwoods!

Upon immigrating to New Zealand in 2004, Louise and Bruce established Birdwoods Gallery on a rural property just outside the village of Havelock North. Birdwoods has grown substantially over the years and it is now one of Hawke’s Bay’s most popular and award winning destinations attracting over 80,000 visitors each year, offering a large and beautiful gallery, an extensive and well tended sculpture gardens, a popular garden restaurant café, a much-loved old fashioned sweet shop and a summer ice-cream shop.




 The St Peter's Church Hall relocated in 2004 from Waipawa

The Birdwoods Sunroom and Gardens today

Serving our famous sweet and savoury scones!

The Birdwoods Garden Cafe Restaurant - with good reason, bookings essential!

The Birdwoods Garden Room

The Sculpture Garden is home to the Long Pond and resident ducks.

We are here to entertain you - the resident three ostrich. 

In 2006 the little old-fashioned Birdwoods Sweet Shop opened

The latest addition is the roadside Real Fruit Ice Cream Shop now proving very popular for locals and visitors alike, serving the best of the Bay's berries.  Open summer weekends, subject to good weather and every day during the school holidays. (Sadly we could not find staff for our Early Bird Coffee so this has closed).

 Birdwoods Real Fruit Ice-Creams in Summer

We are proud to grow much of our produce and have an extensive vegetable, fruit and cut flower garden, mostly organic, all lovingly cared for by Top Gardener Vicky Turfrey!

And wait... there is more.... the Stobart's daughter Sophie and her husband David Saathof are establishing the Birdwoods Christmas Trees on the property with the first crop successfully sold in 2023


 The Team that make it all happen resplendent in Op Shop Glamour for the staff Christmas party 2023!

Louise and Bruce travel back to Africa most years to select textiles, artwork, craft work and importantly, stone and metal sculpture, (Birdwoods Zimbabwe is still producing metal birds 20 years on).   However, more recenlty, purchasing for the Havelock North Gallery has taken a turn towards more sustainable purchasing, with a smaller footprint and emphasis on antique, vintage and handcrafted wares.  


 Treasures abound - sourced in Africa and beyond.

In 2019 on their annual buying trip to Africa, Louise and Bruce were joined by their eldest son, Jack, who like his parents, fell in love with Africa and the talented artisans that live and work there. Jack stayed on to do a full immersion stone sculpting apprenticeship under the tutelage of the renowned Zimbabwean sculptors

 Jack, Louise and Bruce in Zimbabwe.

In 2020, amidst the pandemic, Birdwoods Arrowtown was bravely opened by Jack in Central Otago, New Zealand and this continues to flourish in the popular visitor town.  Jack lives and works in Arrowtown, spending more time creating magnificent sculptures from his Arrow Junction studio and is well set to becoming a recognised New Zealand stone sculptor, and he loves chickens!





Jack's latest large scale sculpture 'Crescendo' on display in Arrowtown


Dawn of the New Year at Ocean Beach 2024

The Stobart's have a flair for creativity, hard work and tenacity despite the many challenges they have faced and they remain committed to Birdwoods and all it has become.  Every year brings new challenges to this unique businss, but the core values remain strong and are strongly supported by a loyal and diverse team of people who believe in the Birdwoods story and are loving the authentic and bold journey it is on.