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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Travel » » Wanganui: The Tiki Tour
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Wanganui: The Tiki Tour
Club Nouméa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2010
Posts: 342
From: Wanganui
Posted: 2010-08-11 07:32 am   Permalink

tiki tour
(New Zealand slang) 1. a sight-seeing journey with no particular destination in mind. 2. taking the scenic route to a destination. 3. to wander aimlessly.
“The rellies came over for a visit and I took them on a tiki tour of the city.”

Source: Urban Dictionary

Consider yourself all my virtual rellies (relations), as I take you on a tiki tour of Wanganui...

Part 1: South of the Whanganui River

The first stop is the Durie Hill land elevator, one of only two in the world (the other one is in Portugal). Basically, it's a lift in a shaft inside a hill, which is accessed via a long tunnel that is reminiscent of entering a subway. Locals use the elevator to commute to and from the top of Durie Hill. The gate at the bottom of the hill is just opposite the city bridge that leads onto Wanganui's main street.

The entrance gate to the elevator:



Along the path leading into the tunnel, there is an assortment of cheeky tiki carvings:











As the sign above the entrance indicates, the tunnel was opened in 1916.

The next stop on our tour is Putiki which, prior to Wanganui being founded in the 1840s by European settlers on the northern bank of the Whanganui River, was the major settlement in this area. It is still a focal point for local Maori, and there is a marae there:



(pardon the join - I had to stick two photos together to get the full panoramic effect...)

Warning: those Tiki Centralites offended by carved phalluses may prefer to avert their gaze from the following few photos...

The main meeting house:









A covered stand where speakers and local leaders sit:







And a covered stand where visitors to the marae sit during ceremonies and speeches:





And this guy, atop what appears to be the food storehouse, looks suspiciously like he is eating an ice cream cone!



Just down the road from the marae, I came across this intricate letterbox:



Putiki was the site of a major battle in 1829, when the Maori warlord Te Rauparaha moved north from his stronghold on Kapiti Island and invaded the Whanganui region:



"Korokota" is the local Maoris' pronunciation of "Golgotha", which was the word Rev. Taylor used to describe the site when he first saw all the human remains that were still lying there 14 years after the battle.

This photo shows the plinth mentioned in the sign:



The following link provides further information about Hoani Wiremu Hipango, who fought alongside British troops against the Maori living up the Whanganui River who opposed European settlement:

http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/1966/hipango-hoani-wiremu/1

That brings Part 1 of the tour to an end. The next stop will be downtown Wanganui.

CN
















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[ This Message was edited by: Club Nouméa 2010-08-29 01:10 ]


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Iokona Ki'i
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 14, 2008
Posts: 816
From: SoCal
Posted: 2010-08-11 08:30 am   Permalink

Very cool! Thanks for the virtual tiki tour mate!
Look forward to the next installment. Cheers!


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TikiG
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 17, 2008
Posts: 1542
From: Riverside, California
Posted: 2010-08-11 08:36 am   Permalink

Club Noumea - Like Jason has expressed above, I must give a hearty Thank You to you for posting Part 1 of this New Zealand tiki tour...

I hope to visit NZ soon and any information regarding a "Tiki Tour" is greatly appreciated.

I'm also looking forward to Part 2. Trust that I'm keeping notes

Aloha! G


 
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Club Nouméa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2010
Posts: 342
From: Wanganui
Posted: 2010-08-13 8:51 pm   Permalink

Thanks for the positive feedback Iokona Ki'i and TikiG.

Just to round off the first part, here is a map showing the locations mentioned in Part 1:



I'll include maps in the following instalments too, as some of these places are not mentioned in the tourist guides.

CN
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Club Nouméa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2010
Posts: 342
From: Wanganui
Posted: 2010-08-13 10:44 pm   Permalink

Part 2: From the Information Centre to Taupo Quay

The second section of our Wanganui Tiki Tour starts downtown at the Wanganui tourist information centre, on Guyton Street:



This is where you can pick up tourist maps, guides and brochures, and visiting the centre provides the opportunity to admire this slightly mossy fellow:



The next two stops are definitely not marked on any tourist guides, but are worth a quick look, and are on Ingestre Street, just one block north-west of the information centre. Soak in the rusty corrugated iron feel and admire the seedy run-down environment as you walk up Hardy Street to get there.

Wanganui City College (one of the local high schools) has a strong syllabus in terms of Maoritanga, and features a Maori cultural centre which is also used as a marae and a soundshell for cultural performances (kapa haka).

The entrance gate:



And the building itself:



Detailed view of one of the carvings on the stage:



This is a very fine piece of contemporary Maori carving, although it is nonetheless inspired by the style of the early 20th century Rotorua school.

Walking further along Ingestre Street towards Victoria Avenue, just across St Hill Street is our next stop; the Maori Land Court:



Admittedly, it is not a very attractive building, which is probably why they tried to hide it behind that hedge, but if you walk into the reception area, you will find six finely-executed carvings of various Maori ancestor figures.

Te Aokehu, a local chief who slayed the taniwha Ekaroa:



So what's a taniwha? Link:
http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/taniwha/1

Hau Pipi, one of the crew of of the canoe Aotea:



More information on the waka Aotea: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aotea_(canoe)

Usually there are four other carvings in this reception area, including one of Kupe, but they were away for cleaning when I paid a visit. And if you're feeling lucky, you could also ask the receptionist if they have any spare copies of the various posters they have up on the walls...

Walking back towards the Whanganui River, along Victoria Avenue, Wanganui's main street, you will see various tourist gift shops which sell things like greenstone (jade) carvings, but we are going to ignore them and pop into the Westpac Bank instead. Behind the counter are three Maori carvings well worth a look:



Detailed view of one of the carvings:



I would love to tell you who or what these carvings depict, but they are in an area off-limits to customers and the descriptive details alongside them are not at all legible. There was some fuss and bother from the counter staff when I asked to photograph them, and I had to get the manager's permission to do so, although I did manage to plant the germ of the idea in his head that maybe they would be better displayed if they were placed where the public could see them properly.

Still ignoring the tourist gift shops, we are now going to head across the road to the local branch of the ANZ Bank. In the foyer is this imposing carved stone:



I happened to be passing when they installed this stone earlier this year and it must weigh a ton as it took several men to carry it into the foyer and lift it onto its pedestal.

Walking further down Victoria Avenue, you may come across some local buskers:



These guys were singing reggae songs.

Further along Victoria Avenue, when you reach the city bridge, turn left into Taupo Quay. Fifty yards or so up the street, at No. 17 Taupo Quay, you will spot this building:



This is the WH Milbank Gallery, and features NZ Polynesian pop art:



At the back of the gallery was an assortment of images from an exhibition devoted to a Ratana church at Raetihi:



Background on the Ratana Church, founded south of Wanganui in the 1920s: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C4%81tana

A few doors along from the Milbank Gallery is an old building that was once the clubhouse of the Wanganui Rowing Club:



It now houses the local riverboat museum. Visitors are greeted by this figurehead clutching a paddle:



The Whanganui River was one of New Zealand's earliest tourist attractions, and the displays include an interesting collection of 19th-century tourist brochures, maps and other paraphernalia:



My favourite is the one that refers to the Whanganui River as "the Rhine of Maoriland".

The museum has exhibits on the riverboats that ran up and down the river in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including a riverboat that is currently being restored:



You can also buy tickets here for the Waimarie, a restored paddle steamer. Check the following site for details: http://www.riverboat.co.nz/

That concludes the second stage of the Wanganui Tiki Tour. In Part 3, we follow in the footsteps of Mark Twain as we visit Moutoa Gardens.

CN

















_________________
Toto, j'ai l'impression que nous ne sommes plus au Kansas !

[ This Message was edited by: Club Nouméa 2010-08-13 23:32 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Club Nouméa 2010-08-13 23:55 ]

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[ This Message was edited by: Club Nouméa 2010-08-14 00:47 ]

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Club Nouméa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2010
Posts: 342
From: Wanganui
Posted: 2010-08-14 12:31 am   Permalink

Here is the map for Part 2 of the tour:



CN
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Club Nouméa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2010
Posts: 342
From: Wanganui
Posted: 2010-08-29 12:36 am   Permalink

Part 3: From Moutoa Gardens to the Museum

Moutoa Gardens is an area right beside the Whanganui River. For hundreds of years, prior to the European town being established in the 1840s, there was a fishing settlement here, called Paikatore. Even after the town centre grew to encompass this area, in the mid to late 19th century, local Maori who lived along the river continued to land their canoes here when visiting Wanganui.



The photo above shows the site in the 1860s. In the foreground is a newly-built statue commemorating the victory in 1864 of lower river Maori over upper river Maori at the battle of Moutoa Island (80km up the Whanganui River). Behind the statue, to the right, is the town courthouse and jail. To the left is Reid's Albion Hotel. Towering over the scene is the Rutland Stockade, a fortification built on Pukenamu Hill (now Queen's Park). The Rutland Stockade was part of fortification works in Wanganui initiated in 1847 in response to upper river Maori, who were becoming hostile to the influx of European settlers that the founding of the town had prompted. By the 1860s, the town's defences had been extended to encompass redoubts upriver in order to forestall any attacks by war parties coming down the Whanganui River, and were put to the test when discontent developed into general conflict in the mid to late 1860s.

The River Queen (2005), a film starring Keifer Sutherland, depicts this period of conflict. Although somewhat fictionalised (it refers to an 1860s military campaign on a river named "Te Awa Nui" - The Great River - rather than "Whanganui"), it was filmed in the Whanganui region and is loosely based on actual events that happened there. Further details:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Queen

Here is what the Moutoa Gardens site looks like today:



The aforementioned statue is just visible on the far right in the photo. Here is a closer shot:



There is little ambiguity about whose side the townfolk were on. Mark Twain, who visited Wanganui in December 1895, was prompted to write the following remarks in his diary after having seen this statue:

“Patriotism is patriotism. Calling it fanaticism cannot degrade it… the men were worthy. It was no shame to fight them. They fought for their homes, they fought for their country, they bravely fought and bravely fell; and it would take nothing from the honor of the brave Englishmen who lie under the monument, but add to it, to say that they died in defense of English law and English homes against men worthy of the sacrifice – the Maori patriots”.

Moutoa Gardens made the headlines in New Zealand in 1995, when it was occupied by local Maori protesters for 79 days. They declared that the land at Paikatore was Maori land that was not part of the land sale that had resulted in the establishment of Wanganui, and the whole nation watched as the issue was aired in the media spotlight, with the town council on one side and the protesters on the other. After 5 years of discussions, both parties agreed to jointly manage the site in 2000.

A prominent victim of the protest action was a statue of John Ballance, which was toppled:



John Ballance was a local newspaper editor in the 1860s, who rose to prominence as a politician, eventually becoming the Premier of New Zealand, leading a Liberal Government from 1891 to 1893. The protesters were possibly unaware of his vocal criticisms of government policy in the land wars of the 1860s, which resulted in him being threatened with a court martial and losing his commission in the Wanganui Yeoman Cavalry, a local militia unit. They were perhaps also unaware of the fact that in 1879 Ballance lost his parliamentary seat as Member for Wanganui due to local Europeans' hostility to his support for the Maori pacifist Te Whiti (more about Te Whiti: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/1966/te-whiti-o-rongomai-or-erueti-te-whiti/1 ). Such are the ironies of history.

The fate of Ballance's statue lay undecided for many years. Marton, a town not far from Wanganui, even offered to take it off the town council's hands. Eventually, earlier this year, a new statue was erected outside the council offices (next door to the tourist information centre):



On the other side of the Moutoa Gardens site is a monument to Te Keepa Te Rangihiwinui, also known as Major Kemp:



His biography: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/people/te-keepa-te-rangihiwinui

The monument commemorates various battles he fought against upper river Maori from 1866 to 1870. On each of the monument's four sides is a bas-relief showing a battle scene, and an account of what happened there:





A stone's throw from the Major Kemp monument is a war memorial to local Maori who died in World War I:



From 1914 to 1918, New Zealand paid a high price in that conflict, and such memorials are to be seen in the smallest of small towns all over the country, but this particular one stands out for two reasons. The first reason is that it is dedicated solely to Maori soldiers, and the second is that it features text in Maori, which was a rarity on public monuments in those days:



Across the road from this monument, where the Albion Hotel used to stand in the 1860s, is this entrance to the local polytech:



This campus only opened a couple of years ago, so these are new carvings:



Moving over to the other side of the hill that the Rutland Stockade once stood on, we come to memorials to British soldiers who fought and died in the 1860s land wars:





And a little further on is Wanganui's largest depository of Maori artifacts, the Whanganui Regional Museum:



In the foyer is a shop that has a good range of books on Maori artifacts and carving, Maori language and culture, and local history. They also sell souvenirs like bone carvings. Across from the shop is this carving, symbolising the Whanganui region and the people who live there:



The museum's main hall is where most of the Maori treasures are to be found, along with a famous collection of 19th-century paintings of local Maori by Gottfried Lindauer (biography: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/1966/lindauer-gottfried-or-bohumir/1 ):



I would like to show you more, but at this point the camera police descended upon me. Suffice to say, if you want pictures of their extensive collection, you will have to buy the museum catalogue...

Which I eventually did:



And well worth the money it is too. It provides details on the history of the museum's Taonga Maori collection, including good coverage of the Gottfried Lindauer paintings, photos of items I have never seen on display, and there is also a CD-ROM with a record of all 4,500 of the taonga (treasures) held by the museum.

Also, when you are at the museum, do not miss the exhibits upstairs, which include a new section on the land wars of the 1860s.

In the next instalment, we see the inside of an inner-city marae.

CN





















_________________
Toto, j'ai l'impression que nous ne sommes plus au Kansas !

[ This Message was edited by: Club Nouméa 2010-08-29 02:00 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Club Nouméa 2010-08-29 02:25 ]

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Club Nouméa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2010
Posts: 342
From: Wanganui
Posted: 2010-08-29 01:49 am   Permalink

Here is the map showing the locations in Part 3 of the Wanganui Tiki Tour:



CN

_________________
Toto, j'ai l'impression que nous ne sommes plus au Kansas !

[ This Message was edited by: Club Nouméa 2010-08-29 02:31 ]


 
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4WDtiki
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Joined: Aug 03, 2004
Posts: 1867
From: Omao, Kauai
Posted: 2010-08-29 07:37 am   Permalink

Great tour of a place most of us will never get to visit, thanks!

 
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Club Nouméa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2010
Posts: 342
From: Wanganui
Posted: 2010-09-05 11:42 pm   Permalink

Part 4: St Mary's Church & Te Rau Oriwa Marae

Behind the Whanganui Regional Museum is St Mary's Church:



The church itself features a traditional Maori gate:



Attached to the church is the Te Rau Oriwa Marae:



Here are some shots of the gate leading into the marae's grounds:





And there is another gate leading into the building once you get inside the grounds:



Some detailed views:









A kaumatua (elder) was kind enough to allow me inside to take photos of the interior:



The interior carvings all date from 1991. I would have liked to get explanations of who the various figures represented, but the kaumatua was busy organising a social event, so I didn't bother him and just quietly snapped a pile of photos.

Here is a general view of the interior:



Various shots of the central pillar:







And some shots of the interior walls, working from right to left if you refer back to the photo of the general view of the interior:













The woven panels were interesting. They were actually made using hardboard pegboard (available from a hardware store near you...), with the fabric woven in and out of the holes.

That concludes Part 4 of the Wanganui Tiki Tour. In Part 5, we go moa hunting...

CN









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Club Nouméa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2010
Posts: 342
From: Wanganui
Posted: 2010-09-05 11:57 pm   Permalink

And here is a map showing where the church in Part 4 is located:



CN
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Club Nouméa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2010
Posts: 342
From: Wanganui
Posted: 2010-09-19 02:50 am   Permalink

Part 5: North of Central Wanganui

The first stop on the final leg of the Wanganui Tiki Tour is Kowhai Park, where visitors can get to see some real moas:



Well, real concrete ones anyway:



Moas were on the verge of extinction around the time of Captain Cook's first voyage to New Zealand in 1769. It is thought there were still a few of these large flightless birds to be found inland, but there is no record of Europeans ever having seen a live specimen. There are plenty of reconstructions of them to be seen in New Zealand museums though. Here is a skeleton from the New Plymouth museum:



From Kowhai Park, we head upriver to Aramoho marae. Here is the entrance gate:



A detailed shot:



The marae's flagpole:



And a detailed view of the carving at its base:



Our next stop is Cullinane College, to have a look at the gateway to the Hohepa Block:



Hohepa Block is where the college's Maori language and culture courses are taught. A detailed shot of the carvings:



Virginia Lake is part of a reserve beside the road leading out of Wanganui, north-west to the province of Taranaki:



In pre-European times, there was a small settlement called Toronui at the end of the freshwater lake shown here, where local Maori used to come to catch eels when they were in season.

Virginia Lake Reserve also features a statue of Tainui, a chief's daughter who features in a local legend that is a Romeo and Juliet-style tale. It is said that Tainui shed tears here when the forest birds told her of the death of Turere, the warrior she was in love with.




CN











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Club Nouméa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2010
Posts: 342
From: Wanganui
Posted: 2010-09-19 03:16 am   Permalink

And here is the map for the final part of the Wanganui Tiki Tour:



CN
_________________

Toto, j'ai l'impression que nous ne sommes plus au Kansas !


 
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Club Nouméa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2010
Posts: 342
From: Wanganui
Posted: 2010-11-19 9:51 pm   Permalink

Breaking news is that the Wanganui Tourist Information Centre has now relocated to a new site on Taupo Quay, just across the road from the polytech. Consequently the old Tourist Information Centre building has closed. I do not know what is going to happen to the big mossy tiki carving outside the old centre. Maybe I should ask if they want to donate him to a good home?

Here is an addition to the Tiki Tour, to be found at the Te Taurawhiri Building, 357 Victoria Avenue, which is the regional office of Te Puni Kokiri (the Ministry of Maori Development):



This fellow is over 6 feet tall and stands in the foyer, with a couple of kete (flax bags) hanging on the wall beside him.

You can all disregard comments in previous posts about the Tiki Tour being over. I have belatedly realised that there was a major omission in my tour: The Wanganui Savage Club Hall! This is the original Wanganui museum building, and it is fitted out tiki-style, although we are talking old-style tiki here; possibly Tiki Victoriana rather than Tiki Modern.

Click on this link for a foretaste:

http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/ObjectDetails.aspx?oid=637564

The Wanganui Savage Club Hall is still used as a concert venue, so next time a show is on there, I am going to roll around early and start snapping photos. The stage is very impressive.

CN



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Toto, j'ai l'impression que nous ne sommes plus au Kansas !

[ This Message was edited by: Club Nouméa 2011-03-24 03:28 ]


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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11159
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-11-22 12:40 pm   Permalink

Wow, thank you for all your work in scanning, uploading, organizing, and posting all these images and information! I feel like I have been there ...almost. Actually, I feel like I definitely gotta go some day!

 
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