I'm a writer blogger who has been resident in the Hutt Valley since the late 1960's. I'm a father, grandfather and great-grandfather. I have seen many people come and go over the years, seen many things good and bad. Now it's time to remember...
Dunedin's Chinese Garden is a cultural link to the history of Chinese settlement in the Otago Province, Dunedin City and New Zealand itself.
From the Chinese immigrants in the early part of the 19th century who flocked to the goldfields of central Otago, living in pretty grim and harsh environmental conditions out there, including caves in the hillsides, to the few who made some real profit and began vegetable market gardening in the region and later opened greengrocers / or fruit and vegetable shops in the city.
Despite being shunned and sidelined by the majority European society over many generations, the Chinese remained, flourished and succeeded in their enterprises, eventually gaining the respect to participate in the business, civic and social affairs of Dunedin City, once the financial heart of early New Zealand society.
The Chinese Garden is testament to the social progress and success of New Zealand's Chinese citizens during the last 150 years.. The garden is one of only three authentic Chinese scholar gardens outside of China itself.
It has reportedly become a tourist mecca in Dunedin, with thousands of tourists visiting it annually, bewitched by the array of cultural classes and served traditional Chinese food. Teas include aromatic Jasmine and the orchid-aromas of Tie Guam Yin, dumplings and buns wrapped around several fillings from red bean to BBQ pork to custards. Sounds simply delicious.
The Chinese Garden was described as an oasis of peace, isolated by its walls from the humdrum of ordinary life nearby. Further this garden is at the centre of this peacefulness, surrounded by a central lake where fish, ducks and lillies compete with glassy reflections of sculpted rock, curved reclines and a waterfall. Such romantic prose. A must see tourist destination.
The garden is open daily from 5pm. There is a charge for adults.