Waikato Museum & motoways

While living here in Pukekohe, Hamilton City is not far away and visiting the Waikato museum has been on the cards for several years but has never really been a top priority - but with Julianne not working on a Sunday and only several more weeks in Pukekohe it was decided to head down and visit Hamilton. 

So on the Sunday the 10th of July everyone was up and in the car moving south around 8-30am. So it was not a particularly early start as of course the boys were up before 7am as per normal. 

I am taking the opportunity to see the new State Highway changes which for some reason I find interesting. So I drove all the way to Cambridge and got to drive through the Rangiriri changes which have just gone live. The new motorway now goes around the old Rangiriri Pa, where a large battle took place during the Maori Land Wars - which is a good thing as it protects part of our history. This part of the motorway was speed restricted as they are still working on it, it was like driving through a construction zone. It is amazing that $105 million dollars will only get you 5 km's of motorway, that amount would almost cover the entire 15 kilometers of electrification to Pukekohe from Papakura which is desperately needed. The 16 km's which now go around Cambridge are good, not only really quick but should really boost the quality of Cambridge the town without all the SH 1 traffic going through - the T junction there can be a real pain and it must be worse for locals. 

Then it was then a as quick back track to Hamilton, where because it was a Sunday I was able to park almost out the front of the museum - so easy. 

Waikato Museum is all very modern looking through I was surprised to find out that the standard collection on display is quite small. The museum is mainly exhibitions - so they must have a quite a diverse things to see over time I guess. The history of the Waikato that I wanted to see was really small as well. 

It was interesting to hear that Hamilton is named after an English Navel Captain Hamilton who died during the Maori land wars at the battle of Gate Pa in Tauranga where he is buried. So Hamilton is named after someone who never visited the area, and had nothing to do with it - strange but true. 

There were also 3 stuffed Huia, which was the most interesting thing I saw on the day. The huia is a bird that went extinct in the early 20th century. And the female Huia had this amazing curved beak.



Luke has found a Morepork, NZ's native owl

Luke has found a Morepork, NZ's native owl

There was also an amazing Maori Waka called Te Winika which is 200 years old - that is some really NZ history that was impressive to see. I also liked how you could easily see into it, and not just the outside. 

The exhibitions included the 50 years of County Calendar which was appropriate for the Waikato I suppose. There was also a Treasure Hunt for Maori words throughout the museum which Robin loved doing. Now he is almost 7 he can join in these museum events that I have seen lots of in the past but we have never joined in because of his age. 

Now that I am working we were able to pop across the road and buy lunch which was a nice treat for everyone. We were all done by 4pm, walked across back to the car and headed home. 

It was a nice day out, after spending the last several months focusing on getting ready for the move and have not been out as a family. 

Adam Weller