The Canyon is the vision of New Zealand native, Hayden Johnston. Originally from Dunedin and of Ngai Tahu descent, he bought the Tarras Vineyard location in 2002 and moved into the wine industry. In 2017 Hayden started on a new journey to create a stunning event space overlooking Tarras Vineyards, that truly connected with the land.
Hayden dreamt of creating an elegant and quality venue, in an incredibly exclusive location. With its native flora in olive greens and browns, lichen-covered rocks, dramatic canyons and beautiful vistas; the space was too spectacular not to share.
Hayden was passionate about creating an exquisite venue to host an array of events, so that others could experience the stunning land and get back to nature.
His idea was to create an elegant, multi-purpose, event space, making it the biggest venue in the region, to share The Canyon’s magnificent setting with the world. His journey started with an incredibly unique build.
The Canyon’s main building, has had an interesting life! It was originally a restaurant at Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell. When it closed down and was going to be bulldozed, Hayden saved the building; taking it from it’s previous life and giving it a new lease of life. He moved the restaurant 22.5km, from Cromwell to the Canyon location, perching it on top of the hill overlooking Tarras Vineyard. It was a dramatic move, due to the size of the large building; road signs had to be moved and traffic cleared, before it finally made it to its new home.
Getting its name from the dramatic canyon next to the vineyard, The Canyon provides a large but intimate space for a multitude of events. It boasts connected spaces, with the cinema, outdoor amphitheatre, main building and pagoda through to the outdoors; it has a range of areas to facilitate any event.
The venue prides itself on its quality and elegant fixtures and decor, as well as how it connects with its natural surroundings.