Friday, 24 March 2017

Fairy Springs and more from Rotorua

Rotorua has many natural springs

Over the years Rotorua's springs have been tourist attractions, water sources for the city and great fishing spots as well.

Click this link to read James Cowan's 1910 article published in a number of newspapers of the day
Otago Witness 27th July 1910

Information with thanks to the Don Stafford File, Tourism 1862-1939 :
Fairy Spring was free to visit and fish, until 1897 when the visitors were charged 6d for the privilege.

The next was Rainbow Springs opened in 1928, where people could put their hands in the water 'tickle the trout' and also to feed the two famous fish 'Elsie' and 'Hori', sadly Elsie died in 1949, no mention is made of Hori's demise.  Rainbow Springs Camping Ground was opened and run by Mr E. Bruce in c1928.

  In 1973 the Rainbow & Fairy Springs merged to become one business and the new owners set about planting trees and upgrading walkways between the two.  Today this is known as Rainbow Springs Nature Park.

Paradise Valley Springs is written as being open to the public in the Rotorua Morning Post 23.10.1939. However as the link below shows, this area was being visited in the early 1900's.

Hamurana Springs was a thriving business as one of the best trout fishing areas of the region as early as 1887, also one could "gaze into an immense hole, which in every 24 hours emits 5,000,000 gallons of cold water" from New Zealand Tablet 11 June 1903, page 5.
A Fishing Lodge was available for keen anglers to stay from c.1923.

Tourist at Hamurana Springs, November 1961 from Kete Rotorua

Click these links to read about these springs from Papers Past :
The Paradise Valley Spring Evening Post 1st October 1904
The Hamurana Springs NZ Herald 10th March 1891
The Rainbow Springs NZ Herald 21st November 1936
The Fairy Springs NZ Herald 7th March 1906

From Kete Rotorua :
The Taniwha Springs Fairy Springs and Taniwha Springs

Taniwha Springs was opened to public prior to 1955 when it was reported that a two-toned trout named 'Harvey' underwent an operation. [what for is not known]

Friday, 17 March 2017

Bikes, Bush and the Great Outdoors of Rotorua

Rotorua's history of sharing our great outdoors with tourists from near and far

Hunting became popular with overseas visitors in the 1950's in New Zealand, and Rotorua's Rex Forrester had already proved himself to be a successful hunter gatherer with his business New Zealand Safaris.  He then went on to publish two books on his craft "Hunter for hire" c.1965 and
"Hunting in New Zealand" c.1967. 

His next job was with the governments Tourism & Publicity Department employed as a Hunting and Fishing Officer. This was to be 1 year job, but it turned into a 20 year career. He retired in 1986 and became a full-time writer from his Kawaha Point home. He passed away in 2001, but his books live on in libraries around NZ as well as our own Rotorua Library.

Information above is with thanks to the 'Don Stafford Collection', research notes held in the Heritage & Research section of the Library.

To see an interview with Rex Forrester by Don Stafford, borrow the DVD from the NZ History & Travel section.This interview was conducted by Don in 1998.

Here is a small sample of his books :

Available to borrow from the 
Library, shelved with the sports books. 

Friday, 10 March 2017

Fishing in the Great Outdoors of Rotorua

Trout Fishing a popular sport in Rotorua since c.1886

From "Don Stafford Collection" Fish & Wildlife folder :
"Mr R.D. Dansey noted in his diary of 1900 a memo regarding trout distribution in the Rotorua District"  as follows :
"1874  Josiah Firth. March. White fish ova from America in Awahou Spring and Stream, also Lake Tarawera.  No fish ever heard of as being seen."

So, not successful then, it seems, but by 1886 it is also noted that the "Rotorua Town Board paid J.H. Taylor to obtain and carry fish fry from Tauranga."

In 1893 Mr R.D. Dansey, himself, introduced Rainbow Trout into streams on the western side of Lake Rotorua and also into Lake Taupo.
From Papers Pas

With thanks to Phil Andrews book "The Ngongotaha Story" for the following information :

So keen were the trout fishermen that the 'Waikuta Trout Hatchery' came into being in 1907, set up by the Tourist & Health Resorts Department.  The 1st trout hatchery was at " Te Ahi on the Pukahu Stream, near Lake Rotorua. 
A second hatchery was proposed at Waimata Springs in c1923, below the site of the former pa named Waimata on the northern flank of Mt Ngongotaha. A salmon station was also proposed to be sited close by.
Eventually the "Waimata Hatchery site was gazetted an acclimatisation reserve on 27 November 1924" 

To read more of this story, Phil Andrews book is available to borrow from the NZ History & Travel section at 993.423z AND.

Trout fishing is still a very popular sport and Rotorua's lakes, and selected streams in trout fishing season, are sought by anglers from far and wide.

Here are some sites to help you choose your favourite fishing spot :

Eastern Region Fish and Game

Rotorua Trout Guide

Rotorua Trout

Cruise and Fish

or take out a book from the Library :)  we have lots of titles to choose from at 799.1757z in the Sports Section.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Fish out of water?

Rotorua's Fish out of water competition popular as ever!

This competition is in it's 10th Year is just as popular and well supported as the 1st one in the summer of 2006-2007.  

The map shows the locations of where each 'fish' was during the competition.

The competition has finished for the summer and the judges have made their selection.

Below is a small sample of this year's entries.


To see previous year's entries got to our online archive Kete Rotorua

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Love our Rotorua Authors

Just a few of our talented writers

Phil Andrews

Aunty Bea

Robyn Kahukiwa

Guide Rangi

Love Books and Reading Month

Click the above link for details of what's on!
Here's a sneak peek...

Get to Know Zinio 

If you love reading magazines, here is your chance to come along and find out about our new digital magazine service, Zinio for Libraries. You don't need to book, just pop in and our friendly staff will show you how you can get the latest magazines for free on your device or computer.​ Everyone is welcome and no booking is required.
Date: 10am-noon, Friday 3 February, Friday 10 February, Friday 17 February & Friday 24 February.
Venue: Magazine Area, Rotorua Library


Check out the book reviews from previous posts in this blog, just type Rotorua Authors in the search box. All titles of the books above are available to borrow from the Rotorua Library. 

Friday, 27 January 2017

Book Review : The Hot Lakes Guides by John C. M. Cresswell

Guiding in the Rotorua area, pre-eruption Te Wairoa to Whakarewarewa

Guides were the accepted way to see the geysers, hot pools, terraces and lakes from c1850 onward. 

John Cresswell writes a succinct history, of the guides and their families, and the area from Te Wairoa Waimangu, Waiotapu and Whakarewarewa.  Guides were essential at this time before the Mt. Tarawera eruption in 1886 as it was frowned upon for tourists to cross Lake Rotomahana to the terraces any other way.

The principal guides were Sophia, Maggie and Bella and later from 1901 Beatrice, Mary, Miriam and Pipi . In 1910 the guides were required to register for a license to guide with the  'Department of Tourist and Health Resorts'.  There were also many part-time guides and whanau who also performed in the daily Maori Concerts. These concerts continue to this day and Rotorua is the only place where one can attend a regular nightly show.

The author paints a vivid picture throughout his book, of this unique region, and illustrates his work with many black and white images of the guides and the region through the ages up to the 1980s.

A fascinating read for any budding historian or those for whom history explains the present.

From : Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19031029-15-1 '

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Rotorua Holiday Destination since 1870

Rotorua Spa City c1870

Excerpt from : Auckland Star, Volume I, Issue 295, 20 December 1870

Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh visited Rotorua on "December 15th - Started from Ohinemutu at 10.00am for Lake Tarawera, visiting the hot springs at Whakarewarewa en route..." he went on to visit the Pink & White Terraces, the Geyser Ngatapu and mud springs of Rotokanapu. 
On this visit H.R.H. camped at Ohinemutu, with his personal guard of the Native Contingent, under Captain Gascoigne. He also stayed with the Rev. S Spencer at Lake Tarawera.

By 1872 the accommodations at Ohinemutu had improved somewhat : 

Advert from the Bay of Plenty Times : Volume I, Issue 24, 23 November 1872.

It seems paddocking and alcohol were are major draw card for the hotels, the first hotel of Ohinemutu clearly thought so..., there was at the time no other hotels to choose from and tourists had to take what they could get, this would have included aristocracy such as  "Lord D'Arcy Osborne and two others of the haughty aristocracy... and others too numerous to mention" BPT 10.11.1875. 

In 1884 the tourist statistics for the season stood at 1,250 and takings for the region stood at £15,400

After the 1886 Tarawera Eruption, tourism suffered, but only for a short duration!. It seems one month after the eruption Captain Way was happy to guide people to the volcano (Bay of Plenty Times 10.7.1886) and by 1887 it was reported in the Auckland Star that "not withstanding the destruction of the Pink & White Terraces, more tourists passed through Napier for the Hot Lakes this season than ever before..." 

This Postcard was donated to the Rotorua District Library, 2013.

In 1891 Thos. Cook & Sons, tourist agents arrived to make arrangements for an office in Rotorua.

For more interesting facts and information about our fair city you can read the following books :

The Founding Years in Rotorua, a history of events to 1900 by Don Stafford at 993.423z STA
A history of Rotorua : a brief survey of the settlement of Rotorua by Enid Tapsell at 993.423z TAP
Tarawera: the volcanic eruption of 10 June 1886 by R.F. Keam at 993.423z KEA