Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Matamata 2: A Walk in the Drive

Friday morning, I decided to cut loose, and have a morning's trek along Matamata's existing Heritage Trail, the Centennial Drive. The route I took was in reverse order to the way it is supposed to be walked or driven along, but -- I am nothing if not inclined to the contrary when the urge hits.

The start of the walk was at All Saints Anglican Church on Broadway (which used to be known as Tower Road in former days). The first church was built in 1908, replaced in 1962 by the present building.

Holy Angels Catholic Church began in 1909, enlarged in 1924 and 1951, and then was remodelled from 1981-1983. In one of the gardens (below) is a plaque commemorating the 1840 visit by Bishop Pompallier to the district.

A cairn of rocks composed of Kiwitahi Andesite form a memorial to John McCaw who was manager of the Josiah Clifton Firth estate. The rocks apparently came from a farm owned by a McCaw descendant and are said to be 5 million years old. The cairn marks the entrance to the John McCaw Native Block (below) and the Fernery.

Below is a rose garden and sundial in honour of the local Rose Society's silver jubilee in 1974.

The Heritage Trail in Matamata is well sign-posted and includes interpretive signage which I thought was first-class. The Tainui Street entrance rock is 13 tons of Ongatiti Ignimbrite or Hinuera Stobe (1 million years old) brought in from Taotaoroa in 1961, and unveiled in 1964. The fountain, below, was installed in the pool in 1985 to mark the 50th jubilee of the Matamata Borough Council (sadly, now a defunct local authority since amalgamations in 1989.)

This is just half of the heritage trail (and there's more to even this half than what I've covered in this post). More later.

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