"My mind sees that I am nothing, my heart sees that I am everything, between these two poles my life unfolds."

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Rotorua Museum & Government Gardens

Saturday greetings! Are you getting sick of hearing about my trip yet? I am, lol!
Whatever will I blog about when I run out of pics...? 

After Hobbiton, the Rotorua Museum of Art & History was next on my list of must-sees. This impressive building represents the New Zealand government's first major investment in the tourism industry. Originally built and operated as a spa (1908), it provided treatments to thousands of people before closing in 1966. The museum itself is now housed in the historic Bath House building, located in the Government Gardens.

I thought I'd save our look inside the museum for another day and instead focus on the magnificent grounds (Government Gardens - originally called Paepaekumana) on which it is situated. Above are the Prince's Gate Arches.

These wooden arches at the entrance to the Government Gardens were designed to represent the royal crown and erected in 1901 to honour the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York (later King George V and Queen Mary). 


The gardens were created in the 1890's by Camille Malfroy and transformed a scrub-covered geothermal wilderness into an oasis of Edwardian charm.

Bear in mind that it was late autumn - how lovely it must be in the spring & summer months!

Here's an odd bird that crossed my path. The Pukeko bird (aka Purple Swamp Hen or Purple Gallinule) has been in New Zealand for 1,000 years and is considered to be the bird that visitors to NZ most often remember.
He appeared to be in no real hurry to get away!


This Sycamore tree (note it's spotted trunk) has been closely pruned for the winter season.

Here are another two examples of the same tree - this one was in a park across from the hotel we were staying in. 

Originally prized for it's attractive bark, the Sycamore is now considered one of NZ's most invasive tree species.

This monument commemorates Fred Wylie, a young soldier from Galatea who fought in the Boer War with the Fourth New Zealand Contingent. 'He was brave as a lion,' reads the inscription, which might explain the lion's head fountain on the front of the statue.

A multi-trunked Japanese fir.

These next few were taken from atop the museum's viewing platform.



All for today :)

15 comments:

  1. What a lovely building, and a stunning park. The wooden arches are very impressive.
    I like the long views, where you can see the mountains in the background. Everything still looks very lush even though it is autumn.

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    1. Hi Tracey, I thought the same - pretty impressive given it's autumn.

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  2. No, I will never tire of your photos from this trip!
    Everything looks so beautiful. Love the wooden arches and that strange looking bird, how fantastic! I want to go there!

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    1. Thanks for assuring me Kay - I sometimes worry that I'll bore you all... !!

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  3. Wow, Jane, simply amazing! What a beautiful place. That is a very impressive building, and the grounds are gorgeous. I don't know how you ever made it back home with all these places to visit -- and photograph. I'd be dragged back kicking and screaming. I will never tire of these posts, so keep 'em coming!

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    1. I really looked forward to visiting the museum from the first moment I knew we were going. It pained me to leave and I was depressed for a number of days after I arrived back home. I'm glad it was spring at that point and could get outside right away!

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  4. Wonderful grounds and love the architecture of the spa/museum!

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    1. It was really impressive and wait till we go inside... :)

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  5. That building is beautiful and the grounds are wonderful. You notice everything don't you? I'm loving your photographs and stories because you've really put New Zealand on the map for me, as I knew next to nothing about it! Keep up the great work!

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    1. Thanks Sulky, I really appreciate your kind words :)

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  6. But they are unique and beautiful!

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  7. What an impressive building and grounds, so beautiful. Must have been a great spa in its day.

    I like to look of the rather tall slender evergreen tree, I wonder if its a pine.

    The strange bird really does look prehistoric and I'm sure I would not want to come in contact with its claws.

    Your pictures are just wonderful.... a great travelog for us all to enjoy.

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  8. Thanks Lorene :) The Pukeko is quite stunning - love his long 'toes'!

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  9. I really like the pictures of the trees. They seem almost majestic for a lack of a better term.

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