'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Day Trip to Rotorua.

Ah, a picnic with friends on a crystal clear, early spring day on the shores of Lake Rotorua (Ro-tor-roo-ah).  Hard to believe this is in the heart of the city of Rotorua, isn't it?

We had a pleasant foot-soak in the thermal mineral water foot-bath in Kuirau (Koo-ee-row) Park.

Then we visited the Rotorua Museum of Art and History.  

The front gate, the Totara timber Prince's Gate Archway (built in a different spot and moved here later) is a stylised representation of a crown.  It was built in honour of the 1901 visit of the then Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, who were later to become King George V and Queen Mary.  It was decorated with greenery and illuminated with electric lights, a great novelty as electricity had only just become available in Rotorua.

The striking Tudor-style building, which is now the Rotorua Museum of Art and History, used to be the world famous Rotorua Bathhouse, which offered therapeutic treatments.  The New Zealand Government opened it in 1908, and hoped to tempt wealthy northern hemisphere patrons to travel to this "Great South Seas Spa".  Water from nearby springs was piped to deep pools, private bathrooms and Aix-douche massage rooms.  Men and women had separate wings.  You can wander around some restored areas and pretend you are relaxing after your electric treatment in the sumptuous rooms decorated with marble statues and lovely furnishings.  Unfortunately the corrosive mineral water ate into the pipes very quickly and so the grand scheme was plagued (sorry Robert) with insurmountable maintenance problems, aside from the dubious benefits of being mildly electrocuted, or soaking in and inhaling vast quantities of toxic substances. 

On the way home we stopped at our favourite little country store and got an icecream.

...which we ate down at the jetty on the shores of Lake Rotoiti (Row-tor-ee-tee). 

Thanks to Claire for images 1, 2, 5 & 7.


  1. Thank you for that early morning tour of Rotorua - a place I already know by name, thanks to my Kiwi rellies!

  2. It looks gorgeous. I've always wanted to go there ever since I read the writer and zoologist's account of his visit there - - years ago, I was about ten when I read it!

  3. Beautiful place...loved the swans!
    Thanks Katherine!

  4. Jinksy and Sistertex - you are welcome!
    Daphne - which writer and zoologist is this?

  5. Although I have been in Rotorua many times I'd never been to the museum until this year. I shall return.....the croquet lawns are outside!!

  6. Ah - you like croquet, GB?

  7. Yes. Croquet is my passion. Well, it's not as simple as that. Those who have followed my blog in the early days would be raising their eyes at this moment if they heard me. But, yes, I spend a lot of time playing croquet - both disciplines. You?

  8. I have played croquet once or twice but don't often have the opportunity. My physical passions at this time lean towards walking and kayaking.

  9. I used to tramp years ago. Gaz (my younger and now only, son) and I did some (for me) fairly serious hillwalking in Scotland but I need a new knee (I used to fence and my front knee didn't cope too well) so the 3 to 6 k one can walk in a day's serious croquet is all I can manage now. I tried going up Ruapehu a couple of years ago but the coming down even with poles was more than I could manage.

    I've never tried serious kayaking.

  10. 3 k is what I would call a good walk.

  11. Good. I don't feel so bad now. I was beginning to feel a bit of a woos.