Travels with Tim and Lisa

"If my discoveries are other people's commonplaces I cannot help it – for me they retain a momentous freshness" (Elizabeth Bowen)

New Zealand 2019 Day 5: Palmerston North

Posted by Lisa Hill on May 10, 2019

We were up bright and early for the train to Palmerston North.  The Wellington Railway Station is hugely impressive, rather like the one in Rome (which is my favourite of all railway stations in the world).  It is well-organised and easy to navigate inside, (none of this nonsense about checking in your own luggage) and helpful staff everywhere.

The train was very comfortable, other passengers were congenial, and apart from a very brief bumpy bit of track, a smooth ride from start to finish.  I love train travel, and this is a really nice way to see some beautiful scenery in relaxed comfort.  The food is surprisingly good too: we had some sandwiches and coffee and #NotLikeAirlineFood there were other appetising choices too.

On arrival at Palmerston North, we dumped our bags and headed out for a walk to stretch our legs.  Here’s the slideshow:

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Then it was off to the Museum.  Now, everyone you talk to in Wellington and in Palmerston North, will tell you about the Rugby Museum, (and I have developed a friendly patter in response, about The Offspring’s teenage career in representative rugby which conveys the entirely untrue impression that I know something about the game), but it will come as no surprise to my friends that we went to The Other Museum.  It’s called the Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science and History, and it’s wonderful!

We spent a very happy hour there, checking out the Environmental Science exhibits, and I was so pleased to see that they group the taxa together so that children actually learn something from the exhibit. BTW Note the Humble Bee in these images: one of these flew across my face at lunch in the Rose Garden in Wellington, and Tim thought I was exaggerating when I said how big it was.

I don’t have much patience with so-called interactive exhibits because I don’t think children really learn much from them, but we played with this one on the electromagnetic spectrum, and found it very good at explaining the wavelengths.

There were also exhibits of birds arranged by habitat, a skeleton of an extinct moa and a stuffed Kiwi (which was smaller than I’d expected).  Also on display was the massive stump of a Totara tree.

And then there was the history museum, which had all kinds of interesting things, including a Maori meeting house and some other artefacts that we were allowed to photograph.    Here’s the slideshow:

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You know you’re getting old when the phone booth you were using just a few years ago is in a museum, eh?

Lisa’s Sous vide Wild Red Tussock Venison Short Loin

We dined in at Jimmy Cook’s at the Copthorne Hotel, and had the best venison I’ve ever tasted.

Tomorrow we’re off to Napier!

PS I found two bookshops in Palmerston North, and recommend Papers Plus for friendly service and dedicated shelves of NZ fiction.  I couldn’t resist a new book called The Naturalist by Thom Conroy and an intriguing title called Liberation Square by Gareth Rubin – it’s an alternative history of the UK after it’s been defeated by the Nazis…

4 Responses to “New Zealand 2019 Day 5: Palmerston North”

  1. A most enjoyable post again Lisa. Some comments – of course!

    I love train travel too. And in fact for this visit to Sydney we decided to train rather than bus as we usually do if we stay in the CBD area. The bus and train both go to Central station, but the bus has a better timetableand takes 45mins less. However, I wanted to try the train again and the timetable suited us (we are returning today by bus). It was enjoyable, and as it was lunchtime we tried the hot cooked lunch. For $9.90 I had teriyaki chicken, with rice and a few vas reall vas really rather delicious and, as Mr Gums and I commented to each other, better than most plane food.

    Although I like sport more than you do, it’s only SOME sports, we would have chosen YOUR museum too. No matter how good a museum is, its not worth a lot if you really aren’t interested in the subject, and don’t feel you need to know about it to enhance your life. Anyhow, I enjoyed your write-up of the museum , and that you saw a good interactive exhibit!

    BTW, my one and only (so far) trip to New Zealand was In 1974 with a young person oriented tour company called Moa Trek. I’ve been fond of moas ever since. Ha ha!

    Finally, I never pass up an opportunity to eat venison. One of the great meats of the world I think. Sounds like you are having some great food. How’s the weather?

  2. […] last article in the Summer edition which featured the book on which a museum exhibition as based.  Palmerston North has an excellent museum, and when we visited they had a display of WW1 print music and a video […]

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