Canaan Downs Collective | Luminate Festival 2019

Canaan Downs is one of New Zealand’s most iconic, natural outdoor venues, and has a rich history of music events from the late 1990s to present times. The land also featured as one of The Hobbit film locations, with several sites featuring in the trilogy.


Canaan Downs covers 200 acres, with approximately half in native beech forest and half in open grassland. The geomorphology includes karst (limestone) features, deep caves and marble/quartz outcrops. The land contains some of the oldest rock formations in New Zealand, and sits at around 750m elevation in the Pikikirunga mountain range.


The Canaan Downs Collective formed in 2011, and raised sufficient funds to purchase the land, becoming responsible kaitiaki-guardians of this beautiful space. This project is an example of cooperative land ownership, sustainable land management, community participation and innovative environmental initiatives.


The aims and objectives of the Canaan Downs Collective include:

  1. Manage the land in an environmentally and financially sustainable manner.
  2. Assist regeneration of the existing Beech forest, re-establish native trees, protect and enhance the biodiversity of the native flora and fauna, and provide a sanctuary for at-risk endemic species.
  3. Ensure that Canaan Downs remains available and accessible to our communities for future generations for visitor access, events and activities in keeping with the nature of the environment and the values of Canaan Downs Collective.
  4. Develop organic food producing initiatives, such as establishing fruit and nut trees and food gardens.
  5. Encourage and support the continuation and sustainability of events on the land which attract significant visitors to the region and have benefits to the wider community.


Currently there are close to 40 members of the Collective, comprising of people from the local Nelson-Tasman region and throughout New Zealand, and Luminate Festival Trust is also a key member.


We welcome more people to join us. There are opportunities for people who are aligned with the aims, objectives and strategies to support the project, become involved in the land and become a member of the Canaan Downs Collective.

If you would like to know more, details will be available to read at the Info Hub.

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