Unnaturally Nice

My mind was boggled when I visited Centennial Gardens in Napier on the North Island’s east cost.  Situated along the Bluff Hill Walkway, Centennial Gardens is a treasure trove of flowers and water features.  But surprisingly, this area wasn’t always so lovely.


This flower hides a surprising past…


A quarry in a former life, these Gardens were created in 1974 as a commemorative feature for the town.  It was converted from quarry to a horticultural extravaganza by inmates from Napier Prison. Everything in this garden, from soil to water, was bought in to create this manufactured landscape.  But don’t worry – it may be manufactured like One Direction, but here only the birds will sing to you.


Even the ducks can’t hide the infrastructure.


The ducks pictured above were having a short snooze upon some fairly conspicuous infrastructure.  What, pray tell, is all this piping?  Well, a waterfall by name may not always be a waterfall by nature.  The Gardens’ impressive 40 metre water feature is nothing more or less than some brilliant plumbing.  Pipes pump water from the lower pool, through the main section of the pond, up to the top of the cliff.  Ta-da – a man-made waterfall!


If water is pumped down a cliff-face, is it still a waterfall?


All jokes aside, Centennial Gardens is magnificent in both its beauty and the fact it is completely manufactured.  It is very easy to lose a couple of hours strolling through the peaceful, well-maintained landscape.  If only all man-made products looked and felt this good.


Nature at its best.


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