Government Gardens, Rotorua

Government Gardens Rotorua

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.

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  1. Noah 14 September 2013 at 1321 - Reply

    I always find myself drawn back to New Zealand. And the next time I go back, I need to spend more time in Rotorua. I just used it as a jump-off point for hiking the Tongariro Circuit, but it seemed like a town with unique history.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 23 September 2013 at 1336 - Reply

      I think Rotorua is very interesting in its own right.

  2. Laurence 15 September 2013 at 1133 - Reply

    I lived in Rotorua for a couple of months, and loved visiting the Polynesian Spa 🙂

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 23 September 2013 at 1337 - Reply

      A couple of months… slightly envious of your nomadic lifestyle, Laurence.

  3. Mary @ Green Global Travel 15 September 2013 at 1729 - Reply

    It seems that many who travel to New Zealand fall in love with it’s stunning natural beauty and phenomenally diverse landscape. I would love to visit Rotoroa to soak in the springs, though would be equally drawn to explore this venue in it’s present day evolution as the Art and History Museum.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 23 September 2013 at 1339 - Reply

      Unusual landscape, experiences in nature, extreme sports, and, not least, Maori culture, Rotorua has all that and more.

  4. Mette 16 September 2013 at 2028 - Reply

    It somehow looks more English than England, but maybe that’s just my ignorance.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 23 September 2013 at 1341 - Reply

      Not at all. Many places in New Zealand look very English, houses, entire towns. England of yesteryear…

  5. Salika Jay 17 September 2013 at 1534 - Reply

    I so can picture people in 1900’s attire. The place looks beautiful.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 23 September 2013 at 1341 - Reply


  6. Gabriel 18 September 2013 at 2229 - Reply

    Although it looks like they have a very pretty space I just see so much potential to plant fruits trees and veggies =)

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 23 September 2013 at 1342 - Reply

      There is that 🙂

  7. Andrea 18 September 2013 at 2312 - Reply

    This is beautiful! I don’t remember seeing it when we were there

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 23 September 2013 at 1342 - Reply

      Next time, eh?

  8. Michela @ RockyTravel Blog 6 October 2013 at 1656 - Reply

    On my short visit to Rotorua I missed the Government Gardens…as we drove past I could only get a glimpse of them. I too feel attracted to New Zealand more than what I could imagine…hopefully I will go back sometimes and see more.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 6 October 2013 at 2203 - Reply

      It’s a lovely country 🙂

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