Saturday, April 11, 2015

Six-Mile Walk: Auckland Domain + War Memorial Museum

Back toward Albert Park and beyond, our destination today is Auckland Domain, a 340-acre park with sculpture and a beautifully patina-ed Winter Garden. Summer weekend concerts, including opera, draw crowds of 300,000, but on this Friday we have the park largely to ourselves.

We walk through the University of Auckland city campus and under a viaduct to avoid dashing across a highway.

And we're in. Wiki sets the scene:
...the park contains all of the explosion crater and most of the surrounding tuff ring of the Pukekawa volcano.[2] ... Pukekawa was identified by the Māori early on as one of the best sites in the isthmus area, with the north-facing side of the volcanic cone well-suited for growing kūmara, while the hill itself was used for storage and as a site. The crater swamp meanwhile provided eels and water.[2]
Eeels, water, and Kumara (sweet potatoes), all the basic food groups. 

Look carefully. What is wrong with this picture? (Wrong way, honey.)

An enormously pleasing layout.

 The Fernery
  Swallowed by ferns.

 In the Tropical House, living trays.

Art made some close-ups...

What are these otherworldly pods?

Up the hill, the Auckland War Memorial Museum, with one of the largest Maori artifact collections in the world and an exceptional collection of Pacific artifacts too.

We're greeted by friendly Glenn and family, enjoying their Marmite sammies and fruit in the sunshine. Glenn offered plenty of tips on where to go once we leave the city.

Inside, another world. 

Full sized pataka, or storehouse, central to Maori villages

More on Maori carving and a good reminder that materials at hand--timber and jade--are the ones we use.

Shell trumpet

 Maori communities

Yikes. Executioner's baton (Malaita, Solomon Islands)

Te Toki a Tapiri, Maori canoe carved from a single log. 85 feet long with room for 100 warriors. Immense and challenging to capture an image.

The carving at each end is exquisite. More on traditional Maori art:
Art has always been an integral component of Maori culture. Traditional Maori art was created using the materials available at the time, such as wood, bone, pounamu (jade or greenstone), paua (abalone) shell, flax, and feathers. Today, a greater variety of materials are used, although many artists continue to use these traditional materials today.
The colours black, red and while feature strongly in Maori art. The colour red is a symbol of mana (prestige, power, status) and is therefore often used in the decoration of important items such as the buildings and structures around a marae (courtyard where formal greetings and discussions take place) and waka (canoes).

Time to sail away, though we could drink this in all day.

A long walk back toward a Malaysian resto I'd heard about, missed it, walked way past it, stopped in the library to check on location, finally found it. Closed. The best laid plans don't always pan out, but next door a welcoming patio, who cares what kind of food need to sit down.

As it happened, reasonably priced fresh fare: fish of the day, salad, and chips, with a marg on the side. If you're still reading this too-long post, thank you.


  1. Enjoying the blog sis. What kind of fish are you eating?

  2. Hoki
    John dory
    more I can't remember...

  3. Good on you! Your fab photos bring back so many memories. Hope you get your wheels soon.

    Jane & Judy

    1. Stories of your trip left an indelible impression...