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Parnell Rose Gardens
If you love colour then this is the place to go.
They are just around the corner from Parnell and as well as roses there are many mature trees. The roses are mainly modern with over 4500 rose bushes. From late Spring to early Autumn the rose bushes will be at their best so that is the time to go.
Admission is Free and the gardens are open dawn till dusk daily.
You can also walk from the Rose Gardens down into Judges Bay (best when the tide is in.
At the other end of Parnell you will find Judges Bay. The Bay has now been cut off from the water by the road, creating a salt water "lake" which is still used for swiming on a regular basis. Just opposite the Parnell Rose Gardens is another Reserve with this lovely church which is affiliated to the main Anglican Cathedral just up the road.
There is plenty of open space to picnic on (great during the summer) without crowding too close to the church
Auckland Oldest Trendy Suburb
We went to the oldest suburb of New Zealand Parnell Village. It was named after Samuel Duncan Parnell. It dates back from the European settlement in 1841. Being the oldest suburb in New Zealand Parnell village is quite impressive. It has ritzy, layback and friendly feel to it. In both side of Parnell Road there are boutique clothes shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, art galleries and quality craft shops. Many of the wooden houses alongside the road have been converted to shops, restaurants and bars. You will also find many small alleys which converted to shops and cafes.
The village is not far from Downtown Auckland. We walked back to our hotel which took us about forty five minutes. There are Link Bus stop at Parnell Road every ten minutes to Downtown Auckland.
- Arts and Culture
Parnell sits up on a hill overlooking Auckland city and harbour. It is Auckland’s oldest suburb. The Auckland Domain backs into Parnell as there are some wonderful old Victorian homes here. Bishop Selwyn made an early decision that Parnell was where he wanted the focus of the Church of England to be based in Auckland and chose the site for a future cathedral in 1842. He also established St Barnabas Church, Ste Stephen’s School (which was initially for Maori girls), St Stephens Chapel, Church Grammar School, Cathedral Library, Bishopscourt and the first St Mary’s Church.
During the 1870’s a railway bridge went over Parnell Road and a tunnel through Parnell Hill and there were tramcars running up Parnell Road in the early 1900’s.In the 1870s a railway system saw a bridge over Parnell Road and a tunnel through Parnell Hill. Tramcars ran up Parnell Road in the early 1900s. When Tamaki Drive was cut out of the foreshore, Parnell was then severed from the open harbour. Since this time, much of the old buildings and homes have been refurbished and restored and a unique olde world shopping centre ‘Parnell Village’ has been created up Parnell Road making it a prime tourist and residential area.
Parnell Rose Gardens
The Rose Gardens provide a great view of the harbour. Sloping down above Judges Bay, the gardens contain some 4,500 roses. Occasional outdoor concerts are held during the summer months. There are many old trees and pleasant paths to wander and just enjoy the scent of the roses.
Bishopcourt (now Selwyn Court)
Bishopcourt was the residence of Bishop Selwyn and his successors and it was built somewhere between 1863 when it was started and 1866 when the building was finally paid for. Originally on the property was also Bishop Selwyn’s private chapel ‘St Barnabas’, which was later moved to the grounds of the Auckland Diocesan Girls School. The name Bishopcourt has now been changed to Selwyn Court. The complex has characteristic vertical board and batten walls with a shingle roofing.
St Stephen's Chapel and Churchyard (Anglican)
St Stephens Chapel overlooks Judges Bay and was one of the first Gothic Revival churches commissioned by Bishop Selwyn. Again designed by Frederick Thatcher, it features the same characteristic board and batten exterior walls, shingle roof and exposed internal truss work as does Bishopcourt. The chapel was built in 1857 and has a Greek Cross plan. It was originally built for the signing of the Constitution of the United Church of England and Ireland in New Zealand.
This building is a replacement for the original Jubilee Institute for the Blind which burned down in 1897. Built between 1907 and 1909, the institute was originally established as an old boarding house in Parnell before the more permanent school was built on this site in 1891 with money set up to celebrate the Jubilee of Queen Victoria. In 1926 additions were added for adult accommodation, a shop, workshops and a women’s dormitory. The building now an Auckland City community centre and library.
The library of Bishop Selwyn was the first part to be built of the Bishopscourt complex in 1861. The designer Frederick Thatcher incorporated a Gothic Revival style which was chosen by the Bishop himself as being appropriate for ecclesiastical buildings. The Library and the Belfry front onto St Stephens Ave.
Oldest Catholic church
Also you will find the oldest Catholic church of Saint John the Baptist, the wooden church was founded by the first Bishop of Auckland, Jean Baptiste Francois Pompallier, and designed by Edward Mahoney in 1861.
- Arts and Culture
Auckland Cathedral of the Holy Trinity
The Auckland Cathedral of the Holy Trinity is quite an impressive building on Parnell Road. It is the centre for the Anglican Church in Auckland as well as for the Parish of Parnell. There are free guided tours at 2.30pm daily although donations are welcome.
The Cathedral was dedicated as an Ecumenical Cathedral of Hope in the early 1990’s with 8 denominations committed. Sunday Communion is held at 8.00am and 9.30am and Evenson at 5.00pm.
St Mary's Church (Anglican)
St Mary’s was moved to this site in 1982. Formerly it sat across the road. This is the second cathedral to be constructed after the first was proven to be too small. Benjamin Mountfort who was a Christchurch architect was appointed in 1885 to design the new cathedral and chose a Gothic Revival exterior with vertical board and battens and a slate roof.
AUCKLAND'S BEST EAT STREET
A beautiful street boats retail specialty shops and cafes, known as Auckland's "best eat street", Parnell is also home to upscale neighborhood home to historic buildings and vast estates.
Along side of Parnell Road, there are many Victorian homes-turned-boutiques. At the top of the road sits an Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.
Parnell is full of old world homes and Ewelme Cottage is one of these. It was built for the Rev Vicesimus Lush and his wife Blanche in 1863-4 of kauri wood. During the 1880’s it was extended but since then it has remained largely unchanged. The family lived in the home until 1968 and many of their possessions and furniture pieces are display in the home, not to mention an important collection of over 800 books.
Ewelme Cottage is open Friday to Sunday from 10.30am – 12 noon, 1.00pm – 4.30pm. It is closed on Monday – Thursday, Christmas Day and Good Friday.
Kinder House is just up the street from Ewelme Cottage. Built of stone in 1857 for the Reverend Dr. John Kinder and family. The Reverend was known not only for being a clergyman and teacher but also for his prolific paintings and photography. There are two galleries of his works and memorabilia which concentrates on architecture and landscape and much can be learned about Auckland’s early years from these paintings and photos. The house is set in a lovely old cottage style garden. Admission is charged.
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