Puke Ariki

I’m away on holiday with random access to the internets.

Whenever I am away – whether on holiday or for work, I always do my best to check out the library and/or heritage establishment/museum. An occupational hazard I suspect, as I know plenty librarians, or other GLAM sector workers who do the same thing.

Partly, it’s probably due to our passion for our sector – partly it’s probably due to our natural curiosity that seems to be an inherent part of our personalities.

In 2010 I was lucky enough to win a LIANZA scholarship to attend the National Digital Forum where I had dinner one night with a bunch of lovely people from Puke Ariki. I’ve really longed to visit Puke Ariki ever since!

I finally got my chance to during this holiday, as we’d opted to overnight in New Plymouth to break our trip up on our way down to our holiday on the Kapiti Coast.

We had also planned to spend part of the time we were there on the beach – however, New Plymouth turned on some particularly foul unseasonal weather for us, so we got to spend much more time having a leisurely look around.

We took a tour of the whole library. I really loved the basement – where the teens area and children’s section was. The teens area was a lovely laid back area, with a couple of seats for reading, in front of a flatscreen TV playing music. The only thing missing from the area to complete the relaxed feel, was maybe a couple of bean bags!

The children’s area was bright and colourful with fake palm trees with colourful birds. There were a couple of teens chilling in this area, as well as a parent with a couple of littlies.

Taranaki Research Centre was naturally a place of interest for me – I enjoyed browsing through the local history collection for the Taranaki region. I spotted a couple of avid genealogists looking through birth, death and marriage fiche. I almost walked up to ask them if they needed any help (force of habit).

puke ariki children's area

Bright and colourful and welcoming,
the Puke Ariki children’s area

We went across airbridge to the Museum, and all had a ball. We each had a favourite part of the museum that we enjoyed. We all thought the Te Takapou Whaariki o Taranaki gallery was awesome – it was my husband’s favourite part of the museum. Taranaki Life was my favourite, and the girls thought the Surf gallery was dead cool.

I hadn’t had the forethought to let Twitter peeps from Puke Ariki know that I was coming, but I did walk around trying to see if I could recognise anyone from the memories I had of various avatars! Poor planning on my part because it’s always awesome meeting up with Tweeps IRL!



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