Relaxed and refreshed at Firth Tower, Matamata
Situated just a few kilometres out of Matamata, Firth Tower Reserve and Museum sits above the town with extensive views of the surrounding countryside with the Kaimai Range towering in the distance.
Arriving late Saturday afternoon we paid our $10 fee to stay with electricity (for that all important heater.. it’s still chilly at night you know!) and decided we’d save looking around the museum until the next morning.
I’m so glad we did, the weather was on our side and it was most enjoyable to spend a couple of non-rushed hours casually walking around the 13 historical buildings in the delightful garden setting.
My favourite was the homestead because quite simply I can picture living in a house like that.
Well, perhaps not quite like that.
I love the wide covered veranda and huge wide hall with enormously high ceilings but I’d like more electricity, mod-cons and an en-suite.
But you get the picture.
I enjoyed looking through all the historic buildings but the small four room workers cottage didn’t quite cut it for me.
And hopefully I’d never have to require the services of the old jail building that used to reside in a nearby gold-mining town when it was full of troublesome, or drunk, workers.
Other buildings included a post office, a chapel, a school and of course the 16metre high tower.
One of the earliest reinforced concrete buildings in New Zealand it was built in 1882 by Josiah Clifton Firth, partly to provide a lookout over the country side but mostly as a status symbol for the landowner.
The exhibits throughout the museum are extensive and varied.
The gardens and settings are exquisite and peaceful.
If you have a campervan you are thoroughly welcomed to stay at Firth Tower, we were told to make ourselves at home in the grounds and wander to our hearts content.
If you are purely passing through, make sure you give it an hour or two of your time… you won’t regret it.
I could picture myself living in a homesead like this too… but JUST the good bits.. YES to the coal range (alongside a regular oven for possible power failure moments) yes to some beautiful antique furniture, but with modern insulation, wifi , comfy beds and heating please 🙂