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)

Archive for the ‘PLACES OF INTEREST’ Category

Le garde-manger: last dinner in Auckland

Posted by Lisa Hill on May 19, 2019

Tonight we’d planned to eat in, but the hotel restaurant was closed so we strolled up the Queen Street hill to a lovely little French bistro called Le Garde-manger.

We had delicious aperitifs to go with a delicious chicken liver paté: mine was called Pommeau de Normandie and it was made with apple juice and Calvados, and Tim’s was called Aperifigue, because it was flavoured with figs.

For main course, we had the specials: Tim had salmon and I had a confit of duck leg.  And we both had delicious wines, Tim’s a pinot-gris from Alsace, and mine was a pinot-noir from Bourgogne. Service was prompt and friendly, so it was a perfect last night in Auckland.

Posted in 2019 New Zealand, Auckland, Dining out | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

New Zealand Day 11: Auckland Art Gallery

Posted by Lisa Hill on May 17, 2019

Our first Auckland Writers Festival event wasn’t until the afternoon, so we visited the Auckland Art Gallery in the morning.

Though they’ve built some extensions to the original building, it’s not a large gallery, and its entire ‘Historic European’ collection was closed.  (I think that title means that they’ve stopped collecting European art?) From what we saw of the reproductions on postcards on sale in the shop, they have some great pieces, so we were a bit miffed at not being able to see any of it, especially when so much space was devoted to a fashion exhibition upstairs.  (It was Maori fashion, but I am not interested in fashion of any kind, whoever creates it.  I think women in particular would be much better off investing their time, money, and creative energies in something less ephemeral and bad for the planet.)  There was also a gallery called Guerrilla Girls whose poster art I just found tiresome.

So I would have been feeling cranky, except that the ‘Frances Hodgkins European Journeys’ exhibition was wonderful.  The exhibition is a generous retrospective of over 150 paintings of this modernist painter who was born in New Zealand.

Hodgkins (1869-1947) reminded me of Kathleen O’Connor, the Perth artist whose life story by Perth author Amanda Curtin I recently read.  Hodgkins was also a successful expatriate painter who travelled widely, visiting France, Morocco, Spain and England, where she spent her final years.  You can read more about her and see some of her paintings at Wikipedia, but these two portraits show a much more lively personality that that awful photo of her!

Hodgkins was brilliant at capturing the inner world of her subjects.  Here’s the slideshow:

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I also like this one by Laura Knight:

There’s a talk at the Writers Festival about Hodgkins to coincide with the publication of a book about her, but alas, it’s sold out.

#Professional Development Tip For Gallery Management: Interestingly, when I chatted with one of the gallery guides about this exhibition and mentioned the Kathleen O’Connor book about an expat artist in the same period, I asked if a book had been written about Hodgkins. The young woman didn’t know. Another gallery guide sent us on a fruitless search up flights of stairs for the European gallery, because she didn’t know it was closed. And the woman who sold us our tickets (the Museum and the Gallery charge International visitors, but locals have free entry), didn’t happen to mention that the European Gallery was closed. So I think if guides are going to wear t-shirts emblazoned with ‘ask me’ in both English and Maori, a little more training wouldn’t go astray).

Posted in 2019 New Zealand, Art Galleries, Auckland | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

New Zealand Day 10: Auckland War Memorial Museum

Posted by Lisa Hill on May 16, 2019

First, a little bit of catching up…

In Napier, Tim went to the aquarium while I put my feet up with a book.

So, back to Wednesday in Auckland!

After a scrumptious breakfast in the hotel (the Scenic, on Queen Street) we headed off to the wharf, not far from the Maritime Museum.  It was a beautiful morning, sun shining with a light breeze, so a trip across to Devonport on the ferry seemed like a good idea.  And even though as the day wore on there were intermittent flurries of wind and rain, for the most part the day stayed congenial. We have been very lucky.

Devonport is lovely.  I can understand why people would want to commute across the harbour to work in the CBD!  We had coffee and friands at a really nice café called Twister Tomato, and then strolled around the shops and admired their lovely houses.  Best of all we found a second-hand bookshop called Bookmarks and spent a blissful half hour browsing their extensive collections.  I bought three, and so did Tim, so we are going to have to be careful with further purchases, but backlist books of Catherine Chidgey and Kirsty Gunn are impossible to source in Australia so it would have been daft not to buy them.

Back on the mainland, we went to the Auckland War Memorial Museum.  The architecture is neo-classical with Roman columns inside and out, and entablature on the exterior features scenes of war on the frieze. Inside, it’s what I call a traditional museum, (i.e. the kind I like), with collections focussing on the natural world, NZ’s geological history, and a representative collection of classical artefacts from Egypt, Greece, Rome and China.  There were also a couple of replicas of Greek statuary including the Laocoon and the Dying Gaul, and I think this is a good idea: it’s a very long way to travel for students studying these classical civilisations to see the originals, and just as the V&A in London has replicas for its students, so the Auckland Museum enhances its collection of original artefacts with these life-sized replicas as well.

They have a very good fossil collection.  (I am fascinated by fossils, and have my own small collection at home, including a trilobite).  Here’s the slideshow, including a giant ammonite and a reconstruction of the extinct giant moa.

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They also have a good (if somewhat disconcerting) exhibition about volcanoes.  NZ doesn’t just have to worry about devastating earthquakes, volcanic eruptions in their cities is a possibility too.  An animation shows how volcanic eruptions from the sea reshaped these islands over millions of years: my photos don’t capture it all that well, but it’s one of the best exhibits I’ve seen on this topic.

Upstairs is dedicated to the War Memorial and associated exhibits, including a real Spitfire on display, and a poignant cabinet of POW’s handwritten stories.  New Zealanders served in many theatres of war, and so there are cards written by people captured everywhere from Germany to Crete and of course in Singapore as well.  As well as the exhibits you’d expect to see about WW1 and WW2, there was also an exhibit about women’s war service, and one about peace-keeping operations as well.

And I had my first Bookish Moment of the trip.  (The visit to Katherine Mansfield’s birthplace, you may recall, didn’t work out because the house was closed for the duration). In a delightfully idiosyncratic collection donated by a gentleman called Mackelvie, there was this: ivory mini-busts of Voltaire and Rousseau.  (The man at the front isn’t anybody, the signage just says he’s a man, so why he’s at the front in the way I do not know!)

For dinner we went to a restaurant that claimed to serve Japanese-influenced European dishes—but they don’t.  They serve Japanese dishes with the inclusion of mismatched European ingredients. such as bits of shredded raw potato, red radish instead of daikon and (a mortal sin, IMO) mustard drowning out the subtle flavour of freshwater caviar.  The dishes were the usual unpalatable raw fish in feeble sauces.  If you like Japanese cuisine, and Tim does, then it was fine, if grotesquely overpriced. If you don’t, and I really don’t, then the only ‘European’ dish in a seven-course degustation that you might like will be dessert.  And this is a shame because Tim chose this particular restaurant because he thought a fusion cuisine might suit us both.  But the irresponsible table service was something else again: the tables are very close together, so all night long anything the waitstaff said to us was drowned out by a boisterous couple next to us, made worse by the way the waitstaff kept replenishing the father’s glass with sake and beer so he became louder and louder and more and more obnoxious. Not a happy experience at all.

Photo credit:

Auckland War Memorial Museum by User:Antilived – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Posted in 2019 New Zealand, Auckland, Dining out, Museums | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

New Zealand Day 9: Auckland Maritime Museum

Posted by Lisa Hill on May 14, 2019

So, after lunch we strolled down to Auckland Harbour.

It looks pretty much like most harbours do, but some of the nearby apartments are stunning.

As you walk along the wharf, they look very swish….

…but it’s when you’re on the other wide of the water you can see that they are designed to look like a cruise ship, portholes and all!

The Auckland Maritime Museum is well worth an hour or two of your time.  The entry fee isn’t expensive (and they honour Australian Seniors Cards here, which is nice).

First of all there was a comprehensive display of Polynesian boats which made those amazing journeys across the Pacific from Tahitian islands to New Zealand about 800 years ago.

Then there were the European explorers—Portuguese, Dutch, British and French.

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Black Magic NZL-32 (Wikipedia)

The yacht Black Magic NZL32 which won the America’s Cup was there: and I was most amused by signage that said that this yacht was one of only two in the world to have defeated the Americans for the Cup … but they didn’t mention which country the other winner came from!

There was also a replica of the America’s cup, and an extensive display about Sir Peter Blake who captained the yacht, including his ‘lucky red socks’ (replicas of which you can buy in the shop).  Tim (who used to sail in his youth on the family yacht ‘Valhalla’) was captivated by the collection of yachts large and small, from numerous different ‘classes’, and there was a great long cabinet displaying some of the trophies the Kiwis have won.

As in the other NZ museums we’ve visited, there was a Migration Gallery.  This one started with C19th migration and some of the advertising for migrant women caught my eye.  There was also a model of awful cabin conditions in the days of sail, contrasted with a cabin from a 1950s ocean liner (which seemed a bit more rudimentary than what I remember, but we didn’t travel as Ten Pound Poms, so I guess our conditions were better).  Here’s the slideshow:

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But what I liked best of all was all the model ships.  These never fail to enchant me when I find them in museums… I used to love the collection they had on display in the old Melbourne Museum.  The ones here in the Auckland Maritime Museum didn’t disappoint: the detailed fittings and the authenticity of these models is just breathtaking.  Here are two that I especially liked:


Photo credit: Black Magic NZL-32 by Kiwimedia (talk) at en.wikipedia – (Original text : I (Kiwimedia (talk)) created this work entirely by myself.), CC0,

Posted in 2019 New Zealand, Auckland, Museums | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

New Zealand Day 9: Auckland Writers Festival Event

Posted by Lisa Hill on May 14, 2019

Well, we’ve attended our first Auckland Writers Festival Event, a bespoke lunch with celebrity chef Tony Tan!

But we’ve also checked out the venue for the bookish events… and it is going to take all my self-control not to succumb to some very enticing books a *lot* of Air New Zealand excess baggage charges from the festival bookshop, which is already open.

The Aotea Centre is a stone’s throw from our hotel, but I managed to find some interesting buildings en route all the same.  Here’s the slideshow:

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You will have noticed that I slipped in a picture of Melbourne’s Forum Theatre… as soon as I saw the Auckland Civic Theatre, I recognised the style, and it didn’t take much searching to find that the similarity is owed to the designer John Eberson, who was an American promoter of what were called Atmospheric Theatres.  (If you’ve been inside our Forum Theatre, you know exactly what that means.  If not, click here to find out more).

So, back to our first festival event…

Tony Tan is a celebrity chef, Malaysian-born but based in Melbourne, and to celebrate the launch of his new cookbook Hong Kong Food City, he put on a special lunch at Nic Watt’s Masu restaurant here in Auckland.

Masu is actually a Japanese restaurant, and I asked the man who was obviously in charge of it (owner? maitre d’? head chef?) if it was stressful lending his restaurant to another chef, and he laughed and said yes, it was, because his chefs had no experience cooking Chinese food and before the event, there were lots of emails flying backwards and forwards seeking further instructions about how to do things.  Imagine it! The kitchen staff certainly deserved the sustained applause they got from the delighted patrons!

Anyway, here’s the slideshow… the chicken is inside that packet.  I did take a photo, but, well, it just looks like chicken!

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We took a constitutional down to Prince Wharf afterwards, and from there to the Maritime Museum.  I’ll whip up a post about that after dinner…

Photo credits:

Forum Theatre, Melbourne by Donaldytong – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Auckland Civic Theatre by Ingolfson at English Wikipedia(Original text: Uploader.) – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.(Original text: Own picture.), Public Domain,

Posted in 2019 New Zealand, Auckland, Dining out, Museums | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

New Zealand 2019 Day 7: Napier Museum

Posted by Lisa Hill on May 12, 2019

Actually, the Napier Museum is also an art gallery and a library!

There are only three floors, but it’s still a very interesting museum.  Alas, I had a Senior’s Moment and left my camera on the desk in the hotel so we have only a few photos on Tim’s phone…


We started off on the ground floor with a display about the 1931 Earthquake.  We had already read about this, and seen the informative video at the Art Deco Trust, but this museum exhibition rounded out the historical facts with personal stories.  There were stories from people who lived through it, including some poignant ones from people who were small children at the time, and there were some treasured trinkets that had been salvaged.  There was also a digital display on a banner, that had voices of the people superimposed over diagrams that showed the transitions as the land rose up and changed the landscape while below it the Richter Scale was climbing.  It was very vivid.  There were replicas of press reports and telegrams, and also photos of the naval ship HMAS Veronica that was anchored in the bay when the quake struck. The ship was thrown right up out of the water and then back down again, coming to rest in newly exposed mudflats when the ocean retreated.  They had to wait until a high tide before it could be re-floated, but they had radio and they sent an SOS to Auckland by Morse Code.  The next day two naval ships arrived with medical help and supplies, and the city has never forgotten the navy and how it managed the relief effort.

There was a lovely display of local silverware, and not all of it was owned by the rich and privileged.  We were both captivated by trophies awarded to two fire stations competing in fire drills.  Tim liked the rooster, and I liked the one with the water cannon!

There was also a display of Maori carvings and whatnot but we’ve seen a lot of that by now (and I think you need to be a bit of an expert to see the difference between them) and the same was true of the exhibition about a pioneering family called Webb.

However we loved the display of architectural drawings by the architect J A Louis Hay.  He was in his fifties and already a notable architect influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright when the earthquake struck and Napier needed rebuilding.  He joined the Napier Reconstruction Committee and ensured that local architects who had the interests of Napier at heart were those who controlled the massive rebuilding task.

There were framed drawings of his proposed buildings, many of which we’ve seen realised as buildings in the CBD, and there was signage that explained that he was a meticulous man who was intolerant of shoddy workmanship.  But it was from Wikipedia that I discovered that his wife was severely injured in the disaster.  I think these architects are real heroes, who restored a ruined city into a truly beautiful place, and I suspect that the local people who had suffered so much must have been delighted to see their new city arising from the disaster.

We also took the opportunity to admire the Napier Library.  It is a beautiful space, quiet and calm, and nicely organised with a spacious feel and what looks like a good contemporary collection.  They also had a clever initiative to encourage borrowing: you can borrow a ‘pot luck’ bookbag of five books, which are tagged ‘romance’, ‘thriller’, ‘paranormal romance’ (what’s that??) or ‘crime’.  You simply scan the bag, take it home and embark on a voyage of discovery!

We rounded off our two days in Napier with a wonderful meal at Bistronomy.  If you like fine food in a creative contemporary style, this is a restaurant you must not miss.  They make excellent cocktails (I had a Sour Tart, made with gin, elderflowers and feijoas (in season now); and Tim had a Lady Marmalade which was made with charred citrus, aniseed and Cointreau.  What we particularly liked was that the cocktails came before the first course as they should, because the whole point of a cocktail is that it’s a pre-dinner drink, and very rarely is it compatible with an entrée.  In a best-forgotten place we went to in Wellington, the bartender took so long to finish his theatrical performance—prancing around, waggling his pony-tail and thrusting his biceps about, that by the time the cocktails arrived #EpicFail we had almost finished entrée…

No such problem at Bistronomy.  The service was excellent, and the food was served perfectly.  Here’s the slideshow, and I have added the description from the menu so that you can see the complexity of the dishes:

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One thing we didn’t photograph, though it wouldn’t have conveyed much if we had, was the house-made bread which came with whipped butter flavoured with lemon and horopito.  We had never heard of this flavoursome ingredient, and it tasted sublime.  It’s a kind of bush pepper apparently… and I really hope we can source it at home! I’d like to try using it to flavour muffins:)

Tomorrow we are off to Auckland!

Posted in 2019 New Zealand, Dining out, Libraries, Museums, Napier | Tagged: , | 10 Comments »

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…

Posted in 2019 New Zealand, Dining out, Museums, Palmerston North | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

New Zealand 2019 Day 4: Wellington, Dockside Restaurant

Posted by Lisa Hill on May 9, 2019

Just a quick post to showcase the delicious meal we had at Dockside Restaurant on the waterfront.

We got a bit wet getting there, but it was worth it.

The most interesting wine of the night was The Hay Paddock Syrah from Waiheke Island.  It was a full-flavoured red wine rather like a Barossa red, which is not what you expect from a cool-climate region like NZ!


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Posted in 2019 New Zealand, Dining out, Wellington | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

New Zealand 2019 Day 4: Te Papa Museum

Posted by Lisa Hill on May 9, 2019

After the disappointment of Katherine Mansfield’s house being closed for renovation, things improved.

Yesterday we’d made a brief visit to the Te Papa Museum, which is a modern purpose-built museum opened in 1998.  It is, alas, rather like the Melbourne Museum in concept, that is, there are vast areas of empty space to cross before you actually get anywhere.  I have no idea why anyone thinks this is a good idea.  These modern museums are obviously designed with children in mind and little legs get tired.  There are also lifts that don’t operate on all floors so you have to get out of the one cunningly placed next to the shop and then find the other one.  You do a lot of walking without actually seeing anything…

Anyway, the first exhibit is on Level 2, and it’s about New Zealand’s experience of Gallipoli, so we dutifully visited that and then went upstairs to Level 3 where I was keen to see the Suffrage 125 Exhibition.  To say that it was disappointing is an understatement.  Kate Sheppard is a bit of a hero of mine, and she should be a hero for women around the world because she spearheaded the campaign for NZ women to be the first in the world to get the vote.  But she barely got a mention and I know no more about her now than I did before.  The exhibition is what they call a ‘pop-up’ exhibition, and this is a description of what was there from EventFindaCoNZ:

To honour Suffrage 125, Te Papa curators have initiated a special collecting project, sourcing contemporary items related to women’s rights. Recent acquisitions include a breast pump from former Green MP and writer Holly Walker, the NopeSisters T-shirt which addresses sexual abuse, a menstrual cup from MyCup, a company committed to ending period poverty, a suit worn by Dame Jenny Shipley on her first day in office as New Zealand’s first-ever female Prime Minister, and Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban’s puletasi (formal Sāmoan outfit) which she wore to give her maiden speech as New Zealand’s first Pacific Island female Member of Parliament.

IMO If this is the best that New Zealand’s National Museum can do to honour a notable woman, then they ought to be ashamed of themselves.

So then we visited the Blood Earth Fire, Transformation of Aotearoa New Zealand exhibition.  This was huge, taking up nearly the whole floor, and was basically about the impact of humans on the land.

Level 4, which we visited today, was much more to our taste.  We started off with the Treaty Of Waitangi exhibits.  When you first walk in you are confronted by a massive replica of the document—it reaches from floor to ceiling.  Beside it on the wall is a large printed version of what was agreed… which was basically that the Maori ceded sovereignty but got to keep their land.  (And as we all know, it didn’t work out that way at all.)

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But as you progress round the exhibits (which include some of the original gifts that were exchanged as a sign of respect) you learn that actually there are multiple copies of the treaty, because it was copied and different copies of it were taken to sites (that you can see on the map of NZ) for all the chiefs to sign. (Some did, quite a lot didn’t).  In the process the copies got shabby, and the documents weren’t properly preserved and now they are all damaged, much like the one you can see in the cabinet.

This exhibition was interesting to us because it exposes some of the mythology surrounding Australia’s failure to negotiate a treaty.  It is said that in contrast to the disunity amongst Australia’s Indigenous People, the Maori chiefs were united and that made a treaty possible.  Well, clearly, they weren’t all united.   And then, obviously the treaty wasn’t respected anyway, not even enough to keep it safe from damage…

There is a huge exhibition of Maori history and culture on this floor, but unfortunately we weren’t allowed to photograph any of it, and I couldn’t buy postcards or an exhibition catalogue.  However, I can show you a link to the contentious Maori wharenui which is a remarkable artefact.  A wharenui is a meeting house, and this one was apparently removed from its original site without permission and the iwi (tribe) wants it back.  This may be the reason why the signage is inadequate: if you take off your shoes you can go inside it, but there’s nothing to explain the significance of the architecture or the symbolic meanings of the carvings, not even in the digital video outside it.  (I hate those things, I read much quicker than most people do, and it’s really annoying to have to stand and wait while they finish reading and turn the page).

There was also a stunning longboat, and models of the impressive boats that were used for the Maori voyages from Polynesia about 800 years ago—but we couldn’t photograph those either so you’ll just have to imagine them.

However, the museum has a modern version of a wharenui which belongs to everyone, they say, and I’ve found a Wikipedia picture of that:

On the same floor there is a Passports exhibition which is a bit like Melbourne’s Immigration Museum in concept.  Unfortunately the lighting isn’t conducive to taking good photos, but here’s a little slideshow of items that caught my eye:

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Tonight we’re going to Dockside Restaurant which is close by and therefore an ideal choice for tired feet, and tomorrow we are taking the train to Palmerston North. I gather that the main attraction there is a rugby museum, but I’m sure we’ll find something else to amuse ourselves, and I’m expecting the scenery en route to be gorgeous.

Photo credit:

Modern wharenui: by Allie_Caulfield from Germany – 2001-12-02 01-03 Neuseeland 152, CC BY 2.0,

Museum Entrance: by rheins, CC BY 3.0,

Kate Sheppard: By Book written by William Sidney Smith (1852-1929) but unclear whether he was photographer – From Outlines of the women’s franchise movement in New Zealand (1905) by William Sidney Smith (1852-1929). See File: Outlines of the women’s franchise movement in New Zealand.djvu, Public Domain,

Posted in 2019 New Zealand, Museums, Wellington | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

New Zealand 2019 Day 4: A bookish moment… that wasn’t

Posted by Lisa Hill on May 9, 2019

Yesterday at the Te Papa Museum we picked up the brochure for Katherine Mansfield’s House, and today we checked the days and hours of opening, and found a taxi to take us there for a very special literary pilgrimage.

Here I am outside the house, all excited by the Bookish Moment.  (And impressed that a taxi slowed down so that his vehicle wouldn’t block Tim taking a photo from the other side of the road!)


The gates were locked.  Impenetrably locked.

We got out the brochure and rang the number, only to discover that the site is closed for renovation and wouldn’t be open again till Spring.


Now, I don’t mind them closing it, and since it’s the Off Season here in NZ, this is the best time to do it.

But why promote it with brochures in tourist venues if it’s not open?

I took some photos of Wellington houses so that it wasn’t an entirely wasted trip:

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Posted in 2019 New Zealand, Historic buildings, LitLovers pilgrimage, Wellington | Tagged: | 4 Comments »