What’s so great about Hawera, what to do and best things to see
Hawera is an ideal alternative hub for a leisurely exploration of Taranaki
Hawera has charm. You are beguiled by the quirky collections Elvis Presley and Tawhiti Museum, the passionate dedication of volunteers who have created beautiful spaces, Newell Lakes and cleared rubbish to recreate Goodson Dell and then there is a water tower. Who knew a practical water tower would become a tourist attraction.
WHAT TO DO HIGHLIGHTS
- Tawhiti Museum with its diomoras and lifesize models
- Array of parks and reserves
- Newell Lake and the regeneration effects of schoolchildren
- Several world class art galleries
Hawera has a range of activities and places of interest for cultural and heritage buffs, collectors of art and visitors interested in art exhibitions to nature walks and unusual collections from farm equipment to Elvis Presley.
- A classic, Hawera A & P show draws crowds from New Plymouth hankering for a touch of nostalgia
- Arts in the Park in King Edward Park
- Let’s see what school kids can do to clean up rubbish dumps and check out the monarch butterflies in season at Newell Lake
- King Edward park for a picnic and an extensive playground
- Tawhiti museum with intriguing scale and lifesize models of Taranaki’s past.
WHERE TO TAKE THE BEST SELFIE
- Elvis Presley Museum
- Kaponga Horse Museum interior
- Newell Lake with Fonterra factory in the background and the natural environment framing yourself
- Fonterra lit up at night is oddly attractive
- Fonterra large cow sculpture outside the factory gates
- Goodson Guerrillas aka Hawera walking club members who laboured in Goodson Dell to resurrect a rubbish dump into the glorious public reserve it is today. Environmental heroines.
- Sudoku fans, it’s a worldwide success story, Wayne Gould, the powerhouse behind the game is originally from Hawera
- Golfer Michael Campbell is in the vicinity (played at Patea golf course)
- Novelist Fiona Kidman
- All Black captain Reuben Throne
- Fittingly there is Morrieson’s Bar and Restaurant – Bar – Hawera, New Zealand – 338 Photos in town named after the bad boy made good. Well worth a lunch stop.
- Aotearoa NZ has the largest dairy factory in the world in terms of output. At Whareroa, just outside Hawera, Taranaki. Over 14 million litres of milk processed per day. The plant has its own freight rail network..
- Who needs an Eiffel Tower and masses of tourists when you have the Hawera Water Tower to climb instead. It’s colossal, rises above the small town imposing its presence and is definitely not crowded with visitors. (Approximately 215 steps). You know the place is world famous when New Zealand in 1982 made Hawera Water Tower + cow into a postage stamp.
- Ronald Hugh Morrieson author 1922 – 1972
Author who achieved posthumous fame with cinema adaptations of novels, The Scarecrow (1963), Came a Hot Friday (1964), Predicament (1975) and Pallet on the Floor (1976). Provincial life with a sense of black humour. Ronald was a very heavy drinker, known for numerous affairs and local sexual exploits. He supported himself as a musician. Ron was the arc typical small town bad boy during his lifetime. His home was demolished and now there is a sparkling new KFC in its place. There has been a move to place a statute of Ronald in front of the KFC. This has not happened … yet.
WHO TURNED UP AND NAMED HAWERA?
Hawera means burnt place reflecting when tribal warfare resulted in the burning of a wharemoe (sleeping house) during an attack. See travel pack information for further details around the meaning of the name. In 1866 Hawera was the site for a government military base and the town grew around the blockhouse.
- Massive, enormous dairy tankers turning, give them right of way on the road.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
- Year round as if it is raining there are fascinating museums to visit and art galleries are indoors.
- An alternative hub for a leisurely exploration of Taranaki or a perfect reason for a day trip from New Plymouth
TRAVEL PACK INFORMATION
- Hawera meaning of the name … The name Hāwera means “burnt place”; it arose as a result of fighting between two local sub-tribes, which culminated in the setting ablaze of the sleeping whare (house) of the tribe under attack. An older Māori name was Tau-patatē, referring to the patatē or seven-finger tree Schefflera digitata.] Spelled “Hawera” for most of its European history, a macron was added to the official name by the New Zealand Geographic Board in June 2019, from Wikipedia
- Hawera Water Tower origins are practical. Hawera experienced major blazes in 1884, 1888 and 1912, hence the water tower (1914)
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