Tag Archives: Parks

Hamilton playgrounds: Power Rankings

Playgrounds are a little like bars. They all essentially perform the same function but their design and overall appeal can vary markedly.

Here in Hamilton we have just about as many playgrounds as we do bars (still no bar/playground combo, yet)  but are they all the same?

We sent out Hamilton mother-of-three Angela Cuming into the wilds to compile the definitive Tron Playground Power Rankings for the winter of 2017.   

 

# 1 Steele Park

Corner of Cooke and Grey streets, Hamilton East.

SteeleParkPlayground

The Steel Park playground only opened in June but it’s already top of the Power Rankings because it’s just so darn wonderful.

It’s got a real community feel and a good mix of equipment, including those annoyed in-ground trampolines that kids love and parents desperately try and avoid falling into.

What makes this one so great, however, is that unlike a lot of other playgrounds it is actually near shops and cafes and stuff, and that means it is near COFFEE.

Yay: Being next door to Duck Island Ice Cream.

Boo: Being next door to Duck Island Ice Cream (try waiting until your kids are on one of those trampolines and sneak away).

 

# 2 Claudelands Park

Boundary Road, Claudelands.

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This is not a very fashionable or trendy playground and that’s why I love it so much because you are always guaranteed a good mix of parents who don’t want to parent that day and are happy sitting on one of the benches and letting their kids go nuts running around.

It’s a good place for a bit of hands-off parenting because it’s basically in the middle of a big field and your kids can’t run off anywhere or get up to mischief.

It’s actually three-playgrounds-in-one, with separate areas and equipment for babies and toddlers, primary school aged kids and bigger kids (and grown ups). There’s a flying fox and undercover tables and benches if you fancy bringing a picnic lunch, and it’s handily located right next to Jubilee Park if you want to combine a walk through some stunning native bush while you are there.

Yay: There’s a flying fox and you can watch grown men and women relive their childhood in varying degrees of success.

Boo: The genius who designed it decided to landscape the garden beds with millions of tiny little gravelly rocks. Expect at least one of your children to eat some of it.

 

 

#3 Potter Children’s Garden, Parana Park

Memorial Drive, Hamilton East.

ParanaPark

Small but perfectly formed, this park is like a Victorian fairy tale come to life, with bird aviaries, giant statues and sculptures for children to play with, gorgeous gardens and a front row seat of the Waikato River. There’s not a lot of traditional playground fare like swings and slides, but trust me you kids won’t mind.

Yay : The fountains and shallow ponds your kids can play in.

Boo: The fountains and shallow ponds the ducks like to play (and toilet) in.

 

#4 Hamilton Gardens

Hungerford Crescent, Hamilton.

HamGardensPlayground

If I could have designed a playground when I was seven years old this would have been it. It’s whimsical and wonderful with a giant stage, caterpillar statues, decorative bird houses and a wonderful giant worm to slide down.

There’s also an amazing tree house that only big kids can climb up into, giving parents a much-needed break from bored teens asking to be dropped off at McDonald’s while the little kids play.

Yay: You can bribe kids into leaving early by promising them an ice cream from the nearby Hamilton Gardens cafe (also sells coffee).

Boo: It is smack bang next to a car park so you have to be on red alert for wandering toddlers.

 

#5 Minogue Park

Tui Avenue, Forest Lake, Hamilton.

MinouguePark

First up, do not rely on your GPS to find this park because you will quickly enter Dante’s little know seventh circle of Hell: a tired and bored toddler in the back seat repeatedly asking where mummy is driving to.

But once you do find it this playground is pretty special, with a  mix of old school stuff like roundabouts and swings and cool new stuff like those great/annoying mini trampolines. There is also lots and lots of sand, plus this great big wooden structure that funnels water along a series of channels. It’s got a bike track that runs around the perimeter of the playground so a good option for older kids.

Yay: Because it’s a bit out of the way it doesn’t get as crowded as other playgrounds.

Boo: The bike track means you are constantly freaking out that a kid on a BMX is going to knock your toddler over.

 

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Can You Believe It’s the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival?

We’ve been following the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival over the past week. From stunning fireworks to amazing talent, to one of the most beautiful venues in New Zealand, the HGAF has outdone itself this year. We’ve turned up in person to soak up the atmosphere, and we’ve followed the action on Twitter. We’re so in love with it all that we’ve dedicated our latest #lovethetron roundup to the #HGAF.

Keep following the action on the hashtags, and the official Twitter: @HGAFestival.

Oh, and for those of you die-hard Ska fans, check out this gallery of the Melbourne Ska Orchestra live at the artsfest from @kiwicanary.

Enjoy!

Hamilton Gardens Arts kicks off with a bang. In real life: @flibertygibbety’s other half outdoes every other guy on Valentine’s Day. Heeh.

The Festival kicks off with a symphony under (shooting) stars (fireworks). Beautiful, from @webtaniwha.

@waikatotimes gives us sneak previews in the lead-up to the the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival with these guys and their ah-mazing body art.

Hula and hoopla from Campground Chaos, from @flibertygibbety.

Campground Chaos continues with an airborne picnic table! Another amazing shot from @flibertygibbety.

@webtaniwha enjoys opera under the stars at the Medici Garden’s outdoor amphitheater.

@MediachickNZ has tea with the Hatter.

@MediachickNZ has tea with the Hatter.

@NZVic is left speechess after @MelbSkaOrchestr. And check out that full moon!

@BSMphotography snaps a rare moment of quietness at the Italian Renaissance Garden.

Meanwhile, @flibertygibbet checks out movies in Roger’s Rose Garden

Too cute. @webtaniwha spots these budding #HGAF performers at the Farmers Markets on Sunday morning.

From budding performers to the real deal at @HGAFestival: the amazing (and Aria-nominated) Bustamento.

Every day is an artsfest at the Tudor Garden, with Nick Bottom hanging about. Another amazing shot from @BSMphotography.

From one Shakespearean character to a troupe: these guys bring the Bard’s work to life on stage. From @flibertygibbety.

Hamilton’s all lit up for @pauline_sinel at the artsfest.

Jazz under trees: @HGAFestival shows us how summer is really done.

Kooky installation on Turtle Lake, from @HGAFestival.

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Can You Believe It’s Hamilton?!

It’s our latest #lovethetron roundup!

A Midsummer Night’s Snow at Parachute! Beautiful, from @NZVic.

Winefest: @flibertygibbety heads to Mystery Creek for the Vineyard Tour on a beautiful Friday night.

It’s a Hamilton safari for @chamfy, hanging out with white rhinos at Hamilton Zoo!

@ZooWildMan's red panda friends are making us die of cuteness!

@ZooWildMan’s red panda friends are making us die of cuteness!

Fiji Baby? Or the next best thing: @kyleeBeee heads to the new Tropical Garden at Hamilton Gardens.

The Hanging Gardens of Hamilton. @teradar and @staceyolivernz are certainly impressed!

The Hanging Gardens of Hamilton. @teradar and @staceyolivernz are certainly impressed with the new Tropical Garden!

Every evening, at sunset, Hamilton magically transforms into a tropical paradise. But shh, it's our little secret, right @tarasutherland? ;)

Every evening, at sunset, Hamilton magically transforms into a tropical paradise. But shh, it’s our little secret, right @tarasutherland? 😉

Mazes and Dragons: @DarkroomJesse hangs out at the newly-opened Tudor Gardens.

We love that there are so many new gardens opening at the Hamilton Gardens. @DarkroomJesse hangs out at the newly-opened Tudor Gardens.

It’s a beautiful Hamilton summer for cricket, right @WWright360? We’re betting @blackcaps would agree!

Clash of the Warriors: The amazing summer of sport in Hamilton continues as @WiganWarriorsRL take on @NZWarriors at Waikato Stadium. This from @its_carene.

@tarasutherland gets into the league spirit at Waikato Stadium!

@tarasutherland gets into the league spirit at Waikato Stadium!

@amj_nz snaps the Bridge St Bridge illuminated at night.

We love #chamfyfoodporn from @chamfy, especially when it’s from Banh Mi Cafe, and when it comes with festive Chinese New Year pouches!

Croquettes and crockery: more deliciousness from @chamfy at the new Chim-Choo-Ree.

Noms! @its_carene has our tastebuds envious with pizza and cider at @HouseonHood!

Noms! @its_carene has our tastebuds envious with pizza and cider at @HouseonHood!

Look who dropped into Artspost to help rebuild Christchurch! Head on over and check out this and more new works.

Here's an old friend we haven't seen in a while. It's Captain Hamiltron, courtesy of the incredibly talented @JMiddleton_imgs.

Here’s an old friend we haven’t seen in a while. It’s Captain Hamiltron, courtesy of the incredibly talented @JMiddleton_imgs.

Dragons herald in the lunar new year, and @HamiltonWaikato was there to soak up the atmosphere!

Chinese New Years Revelling: @timmacindoe welcomes the Year of the Horse at Garden Place

The best thing about wandering past @centre_place on summer evenings is the wafting scent of jasmines. Love!

@puketotara celebrates World Wetlands Day at beautiful Waiwhakareke.

It's a beautiful #smalltownfest for @JessVandy at Raglan

It’s a beautiful #smalltownfest for @JessVandy at Raglan

Spotted by @AnnaJaneWilkins : an all-natural swimming spot tucked away in the Tron. Too pretty!

@WriteOnNZ goes for a wander around Hamilton's Lake Rotoroa and spots some quirky #HamiltonHousePorn

@WriteOnNZ goes for a wander around Hamilton’s Lake Rotoroa and spots some quirky #HamiltonHousePorn

...and on the topic of quirky architectural features, @jessvandy spots wall art by Shida & Eno on Waitangi Day

…and on the topic of quirky architectural features, @jessvandy spots wall art by Shida & Eno on Waitangi Day

More #smalltownfest fun with @hello_im_megan at Te Pahu.

More #smalltownfest fun with @hello_im_megan at Te Pahu.

Best friends: @tarasutherland snaps an intimate moment between man and pitbull

Best friends: @tarasutherland snaps an intimate moment between man and pitbull

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Can You Believe It’s One Year of #lovethetron?

The one where we break with tradition and add a bit of a ramble to our #lovethetron roundup

There were many points this past week where stared at our phone/tablet/computer screens in utter awe and surprise. The first time was on Monday night, on the eve of our first birthday. Earlier that day it had hit us that we would be turning a year old on the 26th of November -i.e. the next day. Somehow, amongst our collective busyness of work, travel, exams, non-fatal seasonal illnesses and so on, our first birthday had sneaked up on us and we hadn’t even realised!

And yet, just hours after we had tweeted as such, we were overwhelmed with kind messages of well-wishes and love from Hamiltonians all over the Twitterverse. The amazing Miss @georgie_pienz concocted this beautiful creation below, and organised an open-invite fête at Milk and Honey. Then the Waikato Times published this lovely piece by Paul Barlow, reflecting on a year of the #lovethetron movement. To everyone who read, tweeted, turned up at Milk and Honey, or was just generally happy this week: thank you!

Hamilton is a wonderful place, and it’s only getting better. Over the past year, we have seen many lovers of the Tron (Tronphiles?) come out of the woodwork and wholeheartedly declare their passion for the city (Hat tip: Hamilton Mafia). We have also seen many, many skeptics convert and fall in love with the place. From people and culture, to sport and nature to art and food -we have seen more sides to this city than we can count. We have seen people delight over uncovering new secrets of the city (especially places to eat cake), and we have seen people bond and make new friends over a shared love of the city. While we can’t take any credit for any of this, we feel so privileged that so many of you choose to share your stories, thoughts and photos with us. #lovethetron is your movement. Happy one year Hamilton!

End Ramble

So cool! We are in love with @chamfy’s awesome mashup of the Casabella Christmas Markets (and the fact that @jessmolina makes a cameo appearance in it).

Love the look: @chamfy snaps these two super stylish ladies at the Devereux & Villiger stall at the Casabella Markets.

@jessmolina snaps Santa heading for some Thai food at the Casabella Christmas Markets!

@jessmolina snaps Santa heading for some Thai food at the Casabella Christmas Markets!

@elliepenelope soaks in the atmosphere under New Zealand’s tallest Christmas tree!

The O'Brien boys enjoy Hamilton's nightmarkets with dad @DarkroomJesse

The O’Brien boys enjoy Hamilton’s nightmarkets with dad @DarkroomJesse

Magical: @tarasutherland captures Hamilton Zoo at sunrise.

Fierce: @waikatotimes posted Bruce Mercer’s amazing pic of Oz the tiger settling into Hamilton Zoo.

Oz isn’t the only superstar at Hamilton Zoo. @KyleeBeee makes new friends with these cute lemurs.

Corrugated Zoo: @webtaniwha wanders through Jeff Thompson’s incredible exhibit at @waikatomuseum.

Gorgeous! @BSMphotography enjoys dinner, comedy and music at Clarence St Theatre.

Claudelands never fails to amaze us. This beautiful picture of Carnival Night from @jess_vandy.

Claudelands at night: this from @BSMphotography.

Claudelands at night: this from @BSMphotography.

@tracercooper finds treasure on the banks of the Waikato River

@tracercooper finds treasure on the banks of the Waikato River

Pretty in Pink: @skepmum enjoys a homemade lemonade at the new Chim Choo Ree.

We are suckers for pics of food, and this snap of @mexiconz on Victoria Street, from @webtaniwha definitely had us wanting.

The Doctor confirms that we are indeed the City of the Future, by dropping by the Tron this week. Lucky @hornykitten was on scene to snap the Tardis door opening.

From the Tardis to the inner workings of cyberspace: @hornykitten wanders into Te Awa and is confronted with lifesize Pinterest boards!

So wonderful that in the middle of a growing city, @TrishCrouchley can still enjoy peace and greenery on this riverside bike trail.

Burst of Brights: @wellreadkitty enjoys the colours of summer at Hamilton Gardens

Pretty! @Annabel_HM goes for an after-school wander through Hamilton Gardens.

So sweet: @webtaniwha has coffee amongst the flower pots at @fresca_chat!

Location Location Location: @jess_vandy's hometown of Raglan  is only a stone's throw from Hamilton city.

Location Location Location: @jess_vandy’s hometown of Raglan is only a stone’s throw from Hamilton city.

Cowtown Wowtown: Ending on a cute note -we absolutely love this pic from @waikatotimes of this boy and his prized pet calf at the Waikato A&P Show!

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Can You Believe It’s Hamilton?!

It’s our latest #lovethetron roundup!

Love love love. @flibertygibbety snaps Eno & Shida beautifying the Tron with gorgeous wall art.

@CreativeWaikato sends us another snap from Eno & Shida on Ward Lane. Stunner.

Food baby in the making: Dad-to-be @whiskeycully indulges at the nightmarkets.

No seriously…can you believe it’s Hamilton?! We sure can. We are nuts for the new MAC counter at @FarmersNZ and so was @webtaniwha it seems!

High praise: @Webtaniwha reckons the new @yoghurtstory at @centre_place is like the love child of House of G, TopShop and The Gap.

…we only hope he is meaning for his tastebuds!

Momentous: The Talented Mr Middleton @JMiddleton_imgs strikes again!

This gorgeous lady is our number 1 supporter and Queen of the #hamiltonmafia, so we absolutely had to send @missB_nz a #lovethetron tee.

…and @missB_nz certainly does not disappoint with this uber cool graphic of the Tron’s Twitterati !

@DarkroomJesse and his boys play ball on a beautiful Hamilton spring day.

Mr and Mrs Hamilton? In line with recent tradition, @chamfy takes a mandatory @CptHamilton2013 photo on her graduation day!

@hornykitten uncovers a hidden tribute from Hamilton to the late Princess Di. You learn something new about this city everyday!

With a gorgeous study spot like this from @danielfarrellnz, why wouldn’t you hit the books?!

@chamfy discovers the Green Grocer at Hamilton East.

Too cool. @nattybegood played the harmonica alongside The Southern Diplomats at the Atomic Festival.

@georgie_pienz checks out the quirky offerings at this year’s Fringe Festival!

Wherepho Art Thou? @JakeQuinn is pretty excited about the new Vietnamese place opening on Vic Street!

@webtaniwha dreams of Mr Milton.

Who needs gondolas when you can water ski right through Hamilton’s CBD? Awesome pic from @hornykitten!

Another reason to love the Tron in springtime: blue irises growing out side the @waikatotimes newsroom!

Fashionista @crikarika dreams up a a new wardrobe.

We love dads who are cool enough to take selfies. We love it even more when it’s dad-of-the-year @DarkroomJesse posing with his boy at Milk and Honey.

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Local Talent: Victor Alexeyev

And now for something a bit different. We spotted Victor at the Milk&Honey night cafe taking photos but we had no idea just how wonderful those photos and the video he made would turn out! Safe to say they have a really hip, interesting feel that matches up perfectly with the ethos of Milk&Honey. Here are some of his photos and a bit more about the man behind the camera. Clck through to get a better look at some of these stunning local photos!

Who is Victor Alexeyev?

I am a Russian born, science loving, poetic wannabe – all the while
trying to make it photographically and still not really knowing what
I’m doing in life. Hi, nice to meet you. Do you like coffee? Me too,
lets talk!

Photographically, I’m interested in and will have a crack at the whole
scope of photography: events, wedding, portraiture, conceptual and
everything in-between. But you have to go where the money shows. So, I
mostly focus on events, portraits and conceptual (when I’m not
shooting paid work).

I like event photography because something incredible always comes
from cramming a bunch of people into a single space for a common
purpose aka community.

I like portraits because when it comes down to it, people are the
purpose of all good photographic imagery. Not to mention, that without
people whom would we have to show our photos to?

I like conceptual because there are no boundaries. Because you can be
childish without having to explain yourself or have that girl you
really like look at you in disgust and retort, “your so immature”.

Im Cambridge, Waikato based and you’ll know me by my olive green
Morris 1300. I might be that guy dragging a drum kit to the carpark
rooftop. Don’t call the cops just yet. I might be that guy in the
corner of your café scoping the joint out. And one day, someday, I
might be that guy attempting to teach science to your children in high
school – if I manage to win your child’s attention from strong
contenders as Jamie’s World and Grand Thief Auto XIV.

Feel free to drop in anytime:

Web:
http://www.victorwithalexeyev.co.nz/

Vimeo:
https://vimeo.com/victoralexeyev

FB;
https://www.facebook.com/VictorwithAlexeyev

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