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A visit to Central Park in my Hometown of Napier New Zealand


By dwyllis


At the weekend, we visited my youngest son in my hometown of Napier, which is a lovely seaside resort on the East Coast of the North Island in New Zealand, in an area called Hawkes Bay. This is where I grew up until I left to go to UK when I was 17 & since then I have returned to live there for two or three years at a time throughout my adult life. I just love this wonderful little city, which is also known as the Riviera of NZ & attracts a great many international tourists due to it being also famous for being one of the best examples of an Art Deco city in the world. Early in 1931, most of Napier came down in a big earthquake with over 100 fatalities in what was then just a large town. The centre, which was virtually flattened, was rebuilt just a year later in the latest Art Deco style, influenced by buildings in America. The reason for the visit was to celebrate my youngest son’s 30th birthday …. but really, I do not need any excuse at all to return to my hometown. Below are photos I took of our stroll through Central Park, located at the end of the High Street, where I used to play as a child. During the earthquake, this Victorian park was known as Tent City as homeless earthquake survivors set up home there for many months, & as the hospital on the hill could not be reached, also emergency medical services were also set up here. Napier is fondly called Palm City, due to the large number of various varieties of palms growing everywhere. The first five photos below are of the most enormous Australian Banyan tree, planted over a hundred years ago. As a young child, this tree absolutely fascinated me & I used to imagine I could build a house in it & live like the Swiss Family Robinson.

The photo below shows what I think may be a Banana tree, growing in the semi-shade beneath the huge spread of the banyan tree above.

The two pics below show an area of Acanthus Bear Paw growing beneath trees.

This is a shot of an area across Central Park.

I do not know the name of this beautiful plant but I think it is a flax of some sort …. around 8 foot high & very luscious growth.

Another pic of an area of Central Park.

Photo below shows the Carillion Bells set up in Central Park. At certain times they play music & over the Christmas period they are programmed to play carols.

In Central Park there are a number of the tallest palms I have ever seen. When I was a child, I was convinced one could reach heaven if they climbed to the top. I don’t know what variety of palm they are, but I have never seen them growing anywhere but right here in this park in Napier. That’s my lovely husband David posing at the bottom of one of them.

The following 4 photos are of the lovely big fishpond right in the middle of the park. It is stocked with Koi Carp. As a child, I used to sit on the edge & dangle my toes in the water.

The photo below shows a lovely broad-leafed NZ native tree in the park, which I have just planted in my own back yard …. mine is just a baby, but lovely to see what it will grow into.

The photo below shows the beautiful cast iron fountain at the edge of Central Park. Built in the Victorian period, it never had water in it when I was a child, but was fully renovated a number of years ago.

This pretty church built in the Victorian period, is typical of the churches built in NZ during that era. This one sits opposite Central Park. I simply love these little churches.

More blog posts by dwyllis

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Wow I can see why you would build a house in that tree dwylis...there is room for a quiet neighbour ...NIMBY if it was my tree.

20 Nov, 2011


Lovely pics, it's lovely to see other parts of the world. Just thought I'd let you know that those tall palm trees are all over Los Angeles. Love the Banyan tree, those lilies in the pond are lovely and I love that little quaint church too.

21 Nov, 2011


An enjoyable blog thank you. I think the park is lovely. It must have been nice to grow up near it.

21 Nov, 2011


Lovely pics. Dwyllis, I adore that Banyan tree so majestic, I also love the church too.

21 Nov, 2011


Thank you for a lovely blog. My father was evacuated to Wellington when he was nine years old and returned to Scotland when he was seventeen. He always wanted my mother to agree to emigrate to NZ and now I can see why. Beautiful!

21 Nov, 2011


Thankyou for showing your pics Dwyllis, its always good to see where members grew up, I can see why you like to revisit, that tree is a beauty and the pond is very attractive....
Lovely photo`s .....

23 Nov, 2011


Lovely pictures Dywliss and I think its fascinating to see where other members live. My husband always had a yearning to live in New Zealand , but its too late in our lifetime. It makes our little town seem very insignificant compared to this.I can understand why you keep returning. Are you planning on staying now.

28 Nov, 2011


I've been living back in NZ since late 1998, Rose. When I first returned, we lived in my hometown Napier, where the photos above were taken, but then I moved to another district, a 2.5 hour drive from Napier, in order to do a degree in midwifery. But my youngest son remained living in Hastings, which is the twin-city of Napier & just a 20 minute drive from Napier, & I have other family there also, so we return several times a year & I love it.

28 Nov, 2011

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