Jo's Monday Walks, Life at No.22, New Zealand, Walks, Weekend Walk

Weekend Walk – Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Park

“E kui, e te kuini o Ingarangi, moe mai, moe mai, okioki ai.”

“Revered lady, the queen of England, go well to your place of rest.”

Tauranga City Council

It seemed fitting to take a wander down to Memorial Park this weekend. Tauranga welcomed the Queen here on 9 February 1963, arriving on the Royal yacht Britannia which berthed at Coronation Pier in Mount Maunganui. A reception to honour her visit was held in the same hall [Soundshell – Memorial], I play basketball most weeks.

Snippets of History

Firstly, the Memorial Park area was initially known as “Hawaiki,” and local Kaumātua – Māori elders state this area was used for kumara gardens in the early twentieth century. Perhaps this explains the use of the name “Honolulu Beach” in 1929.

6th Ave camping ground Jordans Field now part of Memorial Park -Photo [glass plate] Credit – NZ Archives

In 1936, the land was purchased from the estate of Eleanor Jordon as part of an attempt by the Tauranga Borough Council to obtain and develop land for public recreation purposes. A portion named “Jordan Field” was used as a camping ground over the summer.

In 1945, the name’ Memorial Park’ was chosen to access the New Zealand Government’s pound-for-pound subsidies for World War II war memorials.

The Campground in the 1950s

It is not a tiny park, stretching from 7th Ave to 11th Ave, sitting prettily next to the harbour and over 11 hectares. Generations of children have enjoyed the park’s playground, which appears to have opened in the 1950s, which makes Humpty Dumpty, who sits on a wall in Memorial Park, around the same age as me.

Another reason for my walk I was overdue to pay him another visit, which motivated me to head out my door on a Sunday afternoon while the Squire had his usual afternoon sleep. Another delight for the little people is hopping on a train and viewing the park when their energy has been spent.

Toot Toot, hop on the train.

The Tauranga Model and Marine Engineering Club have been running rides at the Memorial Park railway for more than 40 years. Leaving Palmerville Station, trains come and go on Sundays, circling between the trees, through the tunnels and across the viaduct.

The train and driver heading around the park – in the background is the Memorial Hall

It’s a reasonably scenic walk from our home to Memorial Park, made more enjoyable when accompanied by the warmth of the sun and less rain. I tend to do my most productive thinking and conquer most of life’s obstacles with positive self-reinforcement when out walking.

There are plans in the making to have a waterfront walkway from the Strand [City Centre] to Memorial Park, which is approximately 1.6kms away. We shall see as our Council has much to do. In the meantime, the park is a lovely destination for a stroll and viewing the established trees and harbour.

Spring is nearly upon us.

20 thoughts on “Weekend Walk – Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Park”

  1. Jo’s right, that last shot is stupendous! What a lovely park. I’m afraid all the TV coverage of the Queen’s passing is quite overwhelming and we still have a week to go before the funeral. I only wish that instead of all those wasted bouquets, that will be simply composted, people would donate a fiver to a charity which would do much more good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much, Jude. I agree that the coverage is overwhelming and seems to dominate our daily news. I love the idea of celebrating a person’s life, and it has been interesting to see older film reels of her as a child and as a younger woman. Though the press being the press, they tend to dwell on the mundane over and over. The florists’ businesses are blooming. Yes, to donations to charities instead of the compost bins.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the flowers serve many purposes. Firstly they probably help the person who gives them with their grief. The grief is very real and I’ve been surprised by the extent of my own grief. They also show the Queen’s family how much she was loved, although they probably knew that, and this, I hope, helps them in their grief. Thirdly, and this has only just occurred to me, they’re a symbol of unity across the country. We’re all dealing with the same thing. Compost also has value.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh yes, for myself I acknowledge everyone’s grief is real. We shared a few tears and perhaps within that is our grief of our own elders that have passed and not just the Queens passing. Most funerals here prefer a donation to the cancer society for example than flowers. A personal preference. Take care, April.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Mmm… personally I’m not sure that flowers necessarily help with grief, but each to his or her own. I just think of how many fresh water supplies or cataract operations or hungry children could be fed if everyone gave just £5 to charity instead of the florists. The Queen herself supported many charities.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. How fabulous is that last shot? Take me with you!
    I’m not sorry to not be in England right now. HRM was a very special lady and deserves all the accolades, but I really do believe it was time for her to rejoin Philip. 96, for me, is a step too far. God bless and keep her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jo, it is a lovely spot. Yes, I agree it was her time to go. She gave more than most would’ve done. Longevity is grand if you are in good health. Too many loved ones die way before their time which is extremely sad.

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