Tuesday, January 14, 2014


If you think I’m going to talk about sweet potatoes you are mistaken. Kumara is a small town on the Western part of the South Island. At Kumara Junction you can drive inland from the West Coast and after a little while you reach Kumara on your way to Arthur’s Pass.
The town is a little historical gem. It isn’t mentioned in guide book like to Lonely Planet or the German one I happened to have read, too.

We had lunch at the Theatre Royal Hotel, which had been established in 1876 and has been reopened recently. The original owners Otto William Anderson and his wife Annie were from Sweden and from Germany (Annie was born near Berlin). Otto died in 1901 falling off a rock while working on his gold claim. The town had been rich during the gold rush.
Across the Theatre Royal Hotel you find something like a village green, where you can read boards with historical data and old pictures. You can look at pictures of the old hospital and of course you learn more about Richard John Seddon, who had been Prime Minister of New Zealand; some called him King Dick. He had a paternalistic approach, opposing votes for women, immigration of Chinese, and had a firm hand in Maori affairs. The Wikipedia article also tells us, that Seddon was known as known "as one of the pillars of British imperialism". In the Theatre Royal Hotel you can grab a book with photographs that the great-granddaughter of Richard John Seddon, Jane Seddon, presented to the new owner. You will find family pictures taken across the islands of the South Sea and also in New Zealand.

Or you read about the undertaker, Henry Christian Johnson from Danmark, who was undertaker in Kumara for forty years.

All in all I liked having stopped there and maybe, Lonely Planet or other guide books will add Kumara.

Other texts on this New Zealand travel:
New Zealand Itinerary with Annotations and Pictures http://rheumatologe.blogspot.de/2013/12/blog-new-zealand-itinerary-with.html
New Zealand Haiku Second Series http://rheumatologe.blogspot.de/2014/01/new-zealand-haiku-second-series.html

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