Road Trip Diary – Day 1 Part 1 Hamilton Gardens

We are off on an amazing 3 day (July 10-12, 2018) tour in Rotorua this year.

We have been looking forward to this family getaway for years now! There is nothing my family and I enjoy more than exploring the beautiful New Zealand. We haven’t been to the South Island and it would be lovely if we have enough money to visit Wellington, Queenstown and Christchurch regions but for now, we’re more than happy to visit Hamilton, Rotorua or Taupo again.

We left Auckland for Hamilton on our first day at 6ish in the morning, had a surprisingly smooth travel along the Southern Motorway and arrived at the Hamilton Gardens at around 8:37 am.

The Hamiton Gardens Cafe wasn’t opened yet when we arrived so we waited in the car until 9am. Bert and had a really, really good coffee and the kids had hot chocolate to warm us up in a gloomy, rainy day. The rain was so hard at that time and we can’t leave the cafe to look around the gardens and so we stayed a little longer inside. The café is so spacious and accommodating. It looks like a good size lobby of a 5 star hotel. The walls are so pretty. I had to take photos with it as my background. It so warm and cozy inside and it feels like we don’t want to leave but of course we had to, so we did as soon as the rain stopped.

We roamed around the Hamilton Gardens while being careful not to get wet as it was super cold that day but kids are kids. They can’t be tamed when there’s water, no matter how cold. Gumboots are on my list but didn’t bring along (huh, planning to be organized but still ended up with forgotten things) so you can imagine how wet and muddy their shoes were and how cold we were but despite all these we had so much fun.

The Chinese Scholars Garden is an awesome Chinese garden from the Sung Dynasty, 10th-12 Century. It is generally but not exactly a traditional Chinese garden, which emphasized primarily on views, symbolism, reference to legends and time. It was influenced by the art of Chinese gardening, which is sometimes called the “mother of gardens”.

Another stunning place to visit is the Hamilton Gardens Destination Playground where it has a garden theme. It is built to provide imagination, role play, games and puzzles, and discovery and learning for kids. My kids had a great time playing in the Alice in Wonderland Theme Playground. The size of the playground is mind blowing and the sculptures in the playground were brilliantly placed.

Garden Highlights:

Winter Flowers around the gardens
Cozy and warm Hamilton Garden Cafe with good coffee
Different collection of Garden Themes such as Chinese Scholars Garden, Japanese …
Kids friendly, spacious and themed playground that promotes imagination, fun and discovery
Spectacular serenity, calmness and nature feel of the garden.
Entry is FREE

So our road trip continued and had a stop over at Tirau where we took photos in front of the Tirau isite. We also purchased postcards from there as a souvenir. Our original plan is to mail the postcard from Tirau to our home address and keep it. Anyway, as we were walking along Tirau, Kiara had to carry her little brother on her back as his shoes were soaking wet from the play we had in the Hamilton Gardens.

For our Road Trip Diary – Day 1 Part 2 3D Trick Art Gallery

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