A quick post today, inspired by this week’s #frifotos* theme: gardens. Pictured above is Government Gardens in Rotorua. Again, it seems I’m drawn back to New Zealand, our second home country. My inner self must be telling me it’s time to visit. Now, to persuade the girls to leave their dogs and horses for a long-ish holiday…

Government Gardens – or Paepaekumana – is located on an old Maori battle field. Generously, the Maori gave a large tract of the land – including many therapeutic hot springs – to the British Crown in the 1880s to benefit the people of the world – or, as they say in Te Reo (the Maori language)

Hei oranga mo nga iwi katoa o te Ao

As this area brims with geothermal activity, Rotorua was perfect for baths. The New Zealand government of the early 1900s liked the idea of having a European-type spa town in the Antipodes and built the bath house in the photo above, an Edwardian era spa. Can’t you just picture people in say 1913, taking the waters? The clothes, the style, the atmosphere…?

No baths here today; instead, the Tudor-style building houses the Rotorua Museum of Art and History. But if baths are what you’re after, no worries. The Polynesian Spa is nearby.


*#FriFotos is a weekly Twitter chat where travellers share their favourite photos. Each week has a theme. Search #FriFotos on Twitter to see more or to join in.