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New Zealand: Cambridge – All Ages Gather to Sing in New Zealand

We were lucky enough to be invited to a Maori cultural group to mingle with women and children. We learned the craft of making instruments. And then we enjoyed singing along (with song sheets) with everyone from kids to their grandparents. All ages joined together to sing – and the kids knew all the words! People are wonderfully inviting all over the world.

New Zealand: Cambridge – Maori Neighborhood Gathering

Just like all over the world, people of similar backgrounds form social circles to keep their heritage intact. In Cambridge, NZ, we were invited to this Maori gathering to make our own poi balls. The balls are attached to long strings and swung rhythmically, one in each hand. Today, the women dancers perform the Maori poi. Men used it for strength and coordination and they were also used as a weapon during a battle. It is really hard to spin those balls.

New Zealand: Northern Island- Hamilton Gardens, Northern Island, NZ

Invoking the floral colours of an intricate Indian rug, the Indian Char Bagh Garden at Hamilton Gardens definitely has the feel of India. A bagh is an enclosed 4-part garden 8 -18th century Muslim world Asia to north Africa to Spain, paradise gardens universal garden became a distinctive art form in 16 & 17th century under mughal Rulers and then Hindu aristocracy poetic secret pleasure gardens feel breezes, hear water gurgling perfume of flowers real living carpet.

 

New Zealand: Hamilton Gardens – Alice in Wonderland in New Zealand

You never know when you might bump into Alice and Wonderland depictions as you travel around the world. This one was in the Hamilton Gardens in New Zealand. It is truly amazing that this story from centuries ago, has resonated so far and wide. 

New Zealand: Gordonton – Dancing with Captain James Cook in Zealong Sculpture Garden

Captain James Cook (1778-1729) was a British adventurer who explored New Zealand. The indigenous Maori introduced him to the manuka plant as a medicinal tea. It reminded him of home.

New Zealand: Gordonton – One Dragon Teapot in Gordonton, NZ

In Asia dragons and teapots are very popular for centuries. At the Zealong Tea Estate sculpture garden you learn about oolong teas and teas around the world.

New Zealand: Gordonton – Tea Pots Dragon at Zealong Tea Estate, New Zealand

A favorite sculpture in the Zealong Tea Estate sculpture garden was this long tea pot dragon with the estate building in the rear.

New Zealand: Gordonton – Sculpture of Famous Tea sage in Gordonton, NZ

It was a surprise to us to learn that there were tea sages. Here’s a sculpture of Lu Yu who performed this work way back in 733-804. Since he lived to 71, unusual back in those days, perhaps the tea is anti-aging?

New Zealand: Gordonton – Tea Worker Sculpture, New Zealand

You get an idea of the work involved in bringing tea to the table at the Zealong Tea Estate in Gordonton, NZ. Here the sculptures are getting some help from the travel media.

New Zealand: Waikato – Sculpture at Zealong Tea Estate

Along the sculpture walk at the Zealong Tea Estate in NZ, you learn that the world imbibes at least a billion cups of tea a day. It’s the world’s favorite drink (after water of course).