Government Gardens

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View in Government Gardens with the timber-framed Rotorua Museum, previously the Bath House
Historic view of Government Gardens with the ornamental lake and the Bath House

The Government Gardens is a public park, partly laid out as gardens, located beside Lake Rotorua in central Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, North Island, New Zealand. It was built by the government as a tourism attraction, and is still a major tourism destination in New Zealand.

Facilities[edit]

The Rotorua Museum, housed in the former Bath House building, looks over the Government Gardens. There are sports facilities, including the Blue Baths swimming pool, a bowling green, and a croquet lawn. There is also a bandstand. The Polynesian Spa is close by, beside Lake Rotorua.[1]

History[edit]

Part of the site was known to the Māori people as Paepaehakumanu and the northern part as Motutara.[2] The area known as Paepaehakumanu was a bird-snaring ground, which led to its name.[3] The area is of historical significance to the local Maori, with battles having been fought here.[1] The Maori gave 50 acres of the land to the British Crown in the late 1800s.[2] The combined Paepaehakumanu and Motutara area became known as the Sanatorium Reserve, or more commonly, the Government Gardens.[2]

The Government of New Zealand opened a large bath house here in 1908. A second building, the Blue Baths, opened in 1933, amidst much controversy, as mixed bathing was accommodated.[1][4] The Blue Baths were closed in 1982, and restored in 1999–2000.[5] The original 1908 Bath House closed to bathing in 1966. The building was extensively renovated in 1995 and converted into a museum.[6]

Heritage registrations[edit]

A number of items are covered by formal registrations by Heritage New Zealand. The former Bath House, now Rotorua Museum, and the Blue Baths have Category I registrations.[6][5] Four structures have Category II registrations, including the Prince's Arch and Gateway which was built for the 1901 royal visit of the Duke and Duchess of York; this structure is now unique in New Zealand.[7][8][9][10] The area as a whole is also covered by a Historic Area registration.[2]

Photo Name Category Description
2000 New Zealand 19.jpg Former Bath House, now Rotorua Museum Category I half-timbered Elizabethan Revival building[6]
Blue Baths 089.jpg Blue Baths Category I Spanish Mission-style bath house[5]
Prince's Arch and Gateway 0456 09.jpg Prince's Arch and Gateway Category II archway resembling a royal crown built for the royal visit in 1901[7]
Te Runanga Tea Pavilion and Ticket Office 061.jpg Te Runanga Tea Pavilion and Ticket Office Category II tea kiosk and an adjacent small octagonal building that served as a ticket office[8]
Rotunda, Rotorua 064.jpg Rotunda Category II band rotunda[9]
Gardener's Cottage, Rotorua 128.jpg Gardener's Cottage Category II cottage for the reserve's gardener[10]
Rotorua Museum - view from the top 2016-01-24.jpg Rotorua Government Gardens Historic Area heritage registration covering the whole setting[2]
Arawa War Memorial.jpg Arawa War Memorial Historic Monument World War I memorial by William Henry Feldon unveiled in 1927 by the Duke of York (later King George VI.)[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Government Gardens". Tourism New Zealand. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Rotorua Government Gardens Historic Area". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Rotorua historical site receives Waahi Tapu status" (Press release). Destination Rotorua Marketing. 8 March 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2019 – via Scoop.
  4. ^ Utiger, Taryn (29 January 2015). "Ancient history, new beginnings in Rotorua". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  5. ^ a b c "Blue Baths". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  6. ^ a b c "The Bath House (Former)". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Prince's Arch and Gateway". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Te Runanga Tea Pavilion and Ticket Office (Former)". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Rotunda". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Gardener's Cottage (Former)". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Arawa war memorial, Rotorua | NZHistory, New Zealand history online". nzhistory.govt.nz. Retrieved 2019-09-07.

Coordinates: 38°08′08.9″S 176°15′29.1″E / 38.135806°S 176.258083°E / -38.135806; 176.258083