Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Founders Heritage Park Village

An Historic Delight

Founders Heritage Park Village is an authentic historical village in Nelson, NZ, which recreates and depicts the site as it was in the 1800s. The park is fully set out with a village green, lake, shops, church, station, fire station, village pub, brewery, windmill, and all other amenities as they would have been back then. Many of the buildings are original, although some have been moved here from other parts of the country. Some are replicas and all are in an excellent state of repair due to the diligence of the local council.

The amazing thing about this village is just how lively it is. The brewery and pub are flourishing, the bakers sells wonderful breads, the village hall holds parties, dances and shows, the station has a small train working hard at giving local rides, the village green has regular fetes, festivals and pageants and the charming little shops house art galleries, jewellers, dressmakers, and other local craftspeople. Although a tourist destination it is foremost a working village with wonderful ameneties used by the locals freely on a daily basis.

This charming building, Rutherford Cottage, is a replica of the childhood home of  the famous chemist and scientist  Sir Ernest Rutherford  who later went on to gain the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and was knighted in 1914. He spent his later life in England. This pretty cottage is now the art studio of  Lori Davis  who gives painting and drawing lessons in this building.

It truly is one of the most lively places to visit and a perfect history lesson for one and all. Friday night is designated a family occasion with the pub holding a BBQ and pizza evening and 'Mother's Night Off'' while the children have art classes, climb in the playground or play on the village green. The weekends are given over to shows and festivals (I attended a 'Growables Fair' with a flower show, hippie festival, and lots of magical world food delights and also a 'Craft Fair' which displayed local talents. The foods and music at these events are superb and the relaxed atmosphere not experienced anywhere else I have ever been.)


  1. I love that parts of NZ still look like anyway!

  2. Heritage villages are always wonderful to visit, and this sounds like a real find, especially since it's still lived in and used so well.

  3. What a charming village! Looks like a storybook village. :-)

  4. I used to work in one of these type villages growing up, it was lots of fun, but unfortunately it wasn't so open to the locals to come and go as it was run as a museum. Looks like this was a wonderful place to visit


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