Many Cabbage Trees

As we journeyed south from Auckland to Rotorua, we stopped for lunch (and a little time for exploration) in the whimsical and charming town of Tirau, New Zealand.

Images by RJM

“Tirau” is a Maori word meaning “many cabbage trees.”  These trees were important for their use as food, fiber and medicine, as well as being a nesting grounds for native pigeons.

Images by RJM

Images by RJM

Cabbage tree
(This photo was taken at Pancake Rocks on the South Island)

Tirau is also known for its artistic use of corrugated iron. Beginning with the i Site (information center), we were delighted by buildings, signage and pieces of art created out of discarded metal.

Images by RJM

i Site
(Information Center)

Images by RJM

“The Big Sheep”
Wool outlet

Images by RJM

Images by RJM

Images by RJM

On Safari

Images by RJM

This small North Island township is at a major junction in the New Zealand State Highway network. Just south of Tirau is the intersection where travelers can choose to follow State Highway 1 to Taupo, or take State Highway 5 to Rotorua, our next destination (and my favorite city on the North Island).