This is a Museum, Gallery and Science Centre. They are undergoing renovations, due to finish in 2011, and the Rugby Museum will join them. At the moment entry is free, but perhaps that will change when it's all up and ready to go.
I went there because they were offering a floor talk (free) about photographs from the first world war. And it was most interesting too. I am a bit of a sucker for these free lectures, especially when I am in a strange town and at a loose end.
While I was waiting I browsed around and was most impressed with an exhibition by a local ceramacist (from Dannevirke) called Ann Verdcourt. I thought it was quite stunning.
And there was a user friendly installation about sport. Throw this ball, find out the speed of your delivery, putt this golf ball etc etc. This was popular and full of cheerful families.
So this place is well worth a visit and you can get a leaflet of their events (lots of events for kids during the holidays) or check it out on their website.
The second pic is a work by Ann Verdcourt. Her take on a picture by Picasso. I loved her reworkings of Modigliani, Morandi and McCahon.
I went to see a show here last Saturday - not so great - although the theatre is just lovely - it seats about 200 and is in very good nick. I am going to see another show here tomorrow. But I know the actor (travelling up from Wellington) so I know the show will be of a certain standard. So, you know, the trick here is pick your show. Unless you are in a lucky dip sort of mood - which I was in last Saturday. I mean that show wasn't appalling. I wasn't screaming to run out of the auditorium and into the foyer. It had its moments of interest, the concept was good. I've sat through way worse things on a Saturday night. But from now on I pick what I go to.
This is a professional theatre and has a really good standard AND the cheapest coffee in Palmerston North. $2-50 for an enormous cafe latte. And it was good too. The bar also sells wine but I didn't notice if they sold beer.
It is a charming venue, close to the Square - and this year (2010) they have an all NZ list of plays.
My sister and I went to see the Roger Hall play (Roger Hall is huge in NZ) Four Flat Whites In Italy. It was very funny and very well done, right down to the sound and lighting. The local audience enjoyed it very much, screaming at all the local references. Me, because I have been out of the country and we don't get much NZ news in Oz, I was all at sea sometimes.
I paid $30 (senior) and I think the full price is $35.
If you are at a loose end in Palmerston North you could do a lot lot worse than take in a show. Check the link below for what is on.
Peruse the local museum
While in Palmerston North, don't miss the Te Manawa Museum (formally known as the Manawatu Museum). I only visited the section on the local Maori culture and I loved it. It was also my first encounter with it.
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
- Museum Visits
NZ Rugby Museum
This place is full of rugby memorabilia, and is only $5 to get in. If you're going to be in Palmy, and you like rugby, what better place to be.
Update Dec 2012. Visited this again and it was moved in 2011 just before the rugby world cup into a more spacious site in the Te Manawa museum complex. Entry is now $12.50.
There are some interactive areas now as well, where you can test your goalkicking, speed, tackling and scrummaging power!
Te Apiti Wind Farm
On the way to Napier (SH 3) from Palmerston North you pass the turn-off to Ashurst. Through the town is a turn to the right into Saddle Road which takes you past the Te Apiti wind farm. The turn-off is clearly marked.
We found it by accident as there was a detour through Ashurst due to roadworks on Napier Road.
It is operated by Meridian Energy and there are 55 turbines. The morning we visited was foggy and these giant windmills had a strangely alien appearance.
The viewing area is open daily from 8.30am to 5pm.
Palmerston North Square
The square in Palmerston North, which is right in the centre of the city, origionally housed the railway station.
Originally part of the Papaioea clearing, The Square is a seven-hectare park of lawn, trees, lakes, fountains, and gardens in the centre of the city. It is the city's original park and also the centrepoint from whence the city's main streets are arranged.
The Square contains the city's war memorial and a memorial dedicated to Te Peeti Te Awe Awe, the Rangitâne chief instrumental in the sale of Palmerston North district to the government in 1865. Near the centre of the park is the Clock Tower with its illuminated cross and coloured lights. Also here is the city's iSite, the Civic Building (seat of the City Council), the City Library, Square Edge and the commercial heart of Palmerston North's CBD. Retail stores (including the Plaza) and eateries line the road surrounding the park.
In around 1878, a Mâori contingent, including Te Awe Awe, gathered together to choose a Mâori name for The Square. They chose Te Marae o Hine, meaning "The Courtyard of the Daughter of Peace". This name reflected their hope all people of all races would live together in enduring peace.
Square Edge, is a building on the south side of Palmerston North Square.
It Houses various shops, restaurants, ethnic places, clinics for various modialities, and also rehearsal and performance space for musical events.
Well worth a wander round, some of the restaurants were very good when I lived there.
My primary reason for being in Palmy was to visit the rugby museum, but given that it is in the Te Manawa complex, I thought I might have a look around the local museum as well. Well worth a look, particularly the local Maori history section.
Art around the Square(City Centre)
Not always popular at the time with locals,( due to costs) but art has gradually been sited around the central city and the Square had a makeover costing the then Mayor the next election, I now believe it has added to our city.
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