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

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Happy New Year from Rotorua Library

New Year's Best Recipes, 1959.

From the 1958/59 UBD for Rotorua.

These recipes from the Universal Business Directory are heavy on the Whittome Stevenson products, but tomato sauce of any brand is still popular today! My goodness how recipes have moved on.

The Rotorua Library has an incomplete collection of these Business Directories from 1957-1969. A walk down memory lane from Polly Pennant on Household Hints is also worth a read as some methods are still the best. 

In UBD for Rotorua 1957/58.
These gems can be perused in the Heritage & Research collection of the Rotorua Library.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Rotorua's Christmas Style 1966 and 2016

Celebrating Rotorua's Christmas style

2016 Events

Rotorua Library's Summer Reading Events & Competitions
Rotorua Glo Festival 2016

GLO Movies 

Christmas Parade 2016

Interislander Summer Festival Rotorua Races

Puarenga Park Run Santa-Dash

Get Green School Holiday Activities

The Fish Out of Water Annual Competition (since 2007) check out this year's awesome entries at a shop near you!

Here's one from last summer :

Granny by Jane Matua

Rotorua Photo News is available to read at Rotorua Library, in the Heritage & Research Area.
A unique Christmas party
From the Rotorua Photo News 10 Feb 1967, photo's by Jack Lang

The Telephone Exchange is transformed every Christmas
This display was in the Rotorua Photo News 10 Feb 1967, photo's by Jack Lang.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Book Review : Tangata Whenua: The world of the Māori / by Don Stafford

Tangata Whenua: The world of the Māori

Don Stafford was a local to Rotorua and a historian to the city and he presents an authoritative but easily understood account of the history of the New Zealand Māori.

A broad diversity of topics is examined with information drawn from tradition, myth and history.

He starts with the migrations of the Polynesian people and moves to the story of Kupe. The communal living of Māori in iwi and hapū is explained through protocol, custom, connection to the land and connection to each other.

He includes the legend of a well-known love story between Hinemoa, a beautiful chieftainess who lived at Ōwhata  and Tūtānekai a handsome young chief who lived on Mokoia Island in the middle of Lake Rotorua.

He showcases carvers, weavers and includes artwork by Gottfried Lindauer and Charles F. Goldie. Throughout, the author presents both traditional illustration and contemporary photographs that successfully support the text.

For Māori and non-Māori this is worth reading and for those local to Rotorua, there may be someone that you recognise within these pages.

You can find this book in the Māori non-fiction section at 305.8994 STA

Review by Ani Sharland. Heritage and Research Team Leader

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Book Review : Around the lake: the story of the Rotorua Marathon / by Simon Earle

Around the Lake : The Fletcher Marathon 

Rotorua Photo News November 16th 1963

Simon Earle starts his book with a foreword by Lorraine Moller and Acknowledgements to Dennis & Pam Kenny for their comprehensive collection of marathon records and photographs which are included in the book.

Then the first chapter begins "Man who has done them all - Colin Smyth, whose involvement goes back to 1962 when he was third of the 5 finishers in the club's first lap of the lake".

He goes on to showcase the names in the Rotorua Marathon Hall of Fame and in a later chapter the women who have conquered the marathon.

Throughout the author has quotes from the athlete's  and photographs of competitors, winners and organisers of the marathon. Through the stories of the athlete's is woven the history of this iconic marathon. A comprehensive list of the Marathon Survivors Club and the Marathon Hall of Fame are included at the end of the book.

Well worth reading for those keen marathoners and marathon supporters, even if you are not athletically inclined, this is a fascinating story of the Rotorua Marathon 1962-Present.

You can find it at 796.4252z EAR in the Sports section.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Armistice Day, 11th November

11:00 am on the 11th November 1918

End of the war

Abandoned by its allies – Bulgaria, Turkey and Austria-Hungary all ceased hostilities – its population restive as the blockade undermined morale and its armies in disarray, Germany accepted defeat. An armistice on the Western Front came into effect at 11 a.m. on 11 November 1918. New Zealanders at the front quietly rejoiced; at home celebrations were marred by the ravages of the influenza pandemic.  Te Ara

Rotorua's WW1 Memorial in the Government Gardens 

To see the service for Armistice Day 2015 on the Daily Post website click this link :
Armistice Day Commemoration 2015

To read about Armistice Day and it's significance, the following sites are most informative and useful for those who want to remember this important day in world history:


New Zealand History

Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph

Archives NZ : Archway

28 (Maori) Battalion

Monday, 24 October 2016

Who's Who in Rotorua

Here's a sample of Who in 1964

Star Electrical existed in Rotorua from the early 1960s as two separate shops, one on each side of Tutanekai Street. By 1967 the site of the Old Empire Hotel was bought by R. Archibald and the hotel demolished by Flowerdays Demolition Co. for £5000.

Star Building was then built to join the two shops together as one.  This building now houses the Dollar Value shop, Pagani fashion store and Vegas fashion (2012)
This photograph taken by Library Staff in 2012.

From the 1964 Who's Who in Rotorua.
 Rotorua Library has, from 1961-1990, the 'Who's Who in Rotorua' publication which gives a snapshot of Rotorua's business heritage.