Friday, 13 March 2015

Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Park

Tauranga Camping Ground
Children's Playground, Tauranga (Memorial Park)
Coastal Scene, Tauranga (Memorial Park)
Postcards publ. c.1950s by N.S. Seaward's Studio Broad Bay, Dunedin
Images courtesy of Justine Neal

Memorial Park makes up 11 hectares of land sitting next to the harbour between 11th and 7th Avenues. Generations of children have enjoyed the park’s playground which appears to have opened in the 1950’s.

The boating marina is a feature of the extensive children's playground in Memorial Park, 1970s postcard
Image courtesy of Justine Neal
The following excerpt from the Tauranga Winter Exhibition and Carnival 1929 booklet (Tauranga Heritage Collection) shows it wasn’t always known for that. The article is written as though a person is being taken on a guided tour round Tauranga.
Now here is the Eastern Beach almost landlocked at this far end, a paradise for campers with electric light and power available. Here are beautiful homes again, there beautifully planted slopes grading right to the beach. Beach cottages are available here (Honolulu Beach) and are seldom empty. This part is the safe harbourage of the small craft and the home of the rowing club. Dressing sheds and boat sheds dot the shore, large native and other trees shed a welcome shade for picnickers.
Honolulu Beach, Tauranga Winter Exhibition and Carnival 1929 booklet
Image courtesy of Tauranga Heritage Collection
A map showing the original Maori names for the area names the Memorial Park area as "Hawaiki," and local lore states this area was used for kumara gardens in the early decades of the twentieth century.  Perhaps this is an explanation for the use of the name "Honolulu Beach" in 1929.

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