Friday, 22 February 2019

The Spectacular Kiwi Summer

Recalling memories of summer holidays in New Zealand aren't complete unless you factor in camping outdoors. As I recall, camping ranged from the basics (packed on a trailer) to the fully stocked caravan or VW Kombi. My family memories of summer camping were at the basic end of the scale. I recall our huge canvas tent that required the whole family to put it up, our food cooled in the river, dinner that was caught right before it was cooked and not an electrical appliance in sight. Entertainment was what we created and roaming miles from a campsite was the norm (as long as you were back by dinner). Meeting and making news friends every holiday was expected and education about the outdoors often vital (getting bit by a katipō spider).

Over the past decades, have summer holidays in New Zealand changed so much? This photo from 1932 shows three popular ways of spending summer holidays. Look familiar?

Auckland Weekly News, 3 February 1932, Courtesy of Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections, AWNS-19320203-40-1

This post focuses on how summer holidays were spent in the Thermal Region of The Bay of Plenty.

As far back as 1895, visitors to the area like Lady Glasgow and her daughters enjoyed their time spent in the Thermal Region and it was described in the newspaper of the day:

"Lady Glasgow and her daughters Augusta, Dorothy and Alice, accompanied by Captains Clayton and Preston whilst here the last few days had a pleasurable cruising trip around Lake Rotorua and Rotoiti, camping out." Hot Lakes Chronicle, Wednesday 27 February, 1895.

In 1926 the Governor-General visited Rotorua and a group of children were captured by an Auckland Weekly News Photographer enjoying a summer dip.

Auckland Weekly News, 11 February 1926, Courtesy of Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19260211-51-7

In 1930 visitors to the thermal district enjoyed a range of activities by boat and car. Love the huge smile of the boy at the photo's centre.

Auckland Weekly News, 19 February 1930, Courtesy of Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19300219-43-1

Some visitors would venture a little further to places like Lake Waikaremoana. This photo captures the natural beauty enjoyed on a journey taken in 1931.

Auckland Weekly News, 16 December 1931, Courtesy of Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland 

Which is a huge contrast to travelling through similar terrain a decade earlier after the rain. This motorist in 1918 faces the challenge admirably, especially smartly dressed.

Auckland Weekly News, 12 December 1918, Courtesy of Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections, AWNS-19181212-31-2

During the summer tourist season in Rotorua, even the local guides need a break. This photo from 1933 shows a group of guides' playing cards, a popular summer holiday pastime.

Auckland Weekly News, 13 December 1933, Courtesy of Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19331213-47-2

This group of young ladies showed their sense of style while spending their summer holiday at Lake Rotoiti in 1934. I love what looks like a tin billy held by the young lady second from the left.

Auckland Weekly News, 24 January 1934, Courtesy of Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19340124-45-4

Five years on and the way people spent their summer holidays hadn't changed much. Activities on and around the lakes were still very popular as seen in this photo from 1939.



Auckland Weekly News, 19 April 1939, Courtesy of Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19390419-47-1

Fast forward three decades and apart from the changes in fashion and cars, holidaymakers at Hamurana in 1970 still spend their summertime close to the waterways of the Thermal District.

W. Neill, January 1970, Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga Flickr AAQT 6539 W3537 101 / A92754 (R24767826). Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Do these photos bring back your memories of summers past? Why not contribute your memories of summertime in Rotorua, by adding them to Kete Rotorua. You can do that by contacting Alison Leigh at Rotorua Library Te Aka Mauri on 351-7025.

This post was written by Ani. With thanks to Auckland Libraries, Sir George Grey Special Collections, and Archives New Zealand.

No comments:

Post a Comment