Books Read 2020

Saturday, 25 September 2021

Sanatorium Hill


During this past week I had the opportunity to spend a couple of pleasant hours wandering around Sanatorium Hill, near the town of Cambridge (the Hill is now officially called the Maungakawa Scenic Reserve).

Situated at the top of the 1624 foot (495 metre) summit is a radio tower, with brilliant 360 degree views for miles in each direction.

A grand mansion was built here in the 1890s and a large garden established, the remnants of which are still visible today.

In 1902 the house passed into the hands of the Health Department and a Sanatorium (hospital) was established, specifically to treat patients with tuberculosis.

During World War I the Army took over and converted the buildings into use for convalescing soldiers, after which it all fell into disrepair.

By the 1930s it was considered too expensive to refurbish, and most of it was demolished.  Today, all that remains are some concrete foundations and the shell of one solitary small concrete out-building.

The Hill is criss-crossed with several walking paths, many of which connect up with walking trails from the nearby bush-clad Te Tapui Scenic Reserve.

It was most enjoyable wandering around looking, and, judging by the amount of picnic tables available, I am thinking it must be a popular place to visit in summer.

I was amazed at the birdlife here.  There were innumerable tuis, squabbling over the available flowers, along with bellbirds, Californian quail, pheasants, fantails, and all the usual garden birds.

Different places allow views out across the Waikato countryside.  This view was taken from one easily accessed viewing spot.

It would have to be over thirty years since I last visited this place, and it was marvellous to be able to see it all again.

Have an awesome weekend everyone 😊



  1. That sounds a wonderful place. If we ever head that way again I must try and remember it.

  2. Very "cool"! Wow. Such history and .. a "lost place" kinda!
    To a great weekend. Elections here, haha, irony ;-)
    And a Birthday coming up, that makes it better!

  3. What an amazing place to build a grand home. Too bad it wasn't maintained; I'd love to see photos of it. The grounds must have been beautiful too.

    1. I have looked online and not been able to find any photos, unfortunately.

  4. I'm glad they changed the name. Sanatorium Hill sounds so bleak but its a lovely place. How wonderful to have it close to you!

  5. Are there old pictures of this place, when it was new and beautiful, I wonder?

    Love things like this!

    What a lovely place to walk and take photos. I do hope it is well used, in summer. But spring and autumn are still lovely.

    Oh and... You are able to leave your house and do something like this? With crazy China Covid Rules?

    Or *would you be shot at dawn,* if they found out?????????????????????? LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL


    1. We are currently in "Level Two" which means we can travel within our Level Two area but must maintain social distancing from others and wear a mask if we are in an indoor public place. I don't fancy being shot at dawn! LOL

  6. Thank you for sharing this beautiful place. Looks like a lovely area for a hike and a picnic :)

  7. What a great place for a wander, Margaret. Thank you for taking us along.

  8. I love old many I wish I could save. It looks like a lovely place to take a walk and just unwind for an afternoon. Mary

  9. Hello,
    It is always nice to see the land preserved. The views are beautiful. The birding sounds great there.
    Beautiful scenery and photos. Take care, have a great new week!

  10. Glad you are getting out and about, re-discovering lovely places to visit. Must remember the name of that place, I probably won't forget Sanatorium Hill, that really is a unique name for a place with a great view but most likely will have trouble remembering Maungakawa Scenic Reserve.

  11. That is one fascinating reserve and what a pity the house was let to go to wrack and ruin... I must remember this as I have family up that way - it would make for a wonderful afternoon's ramble.
    Stay safe

  12. Oh, my the views! And I am on a phone...I cant wait to see some of them on my computer. And I so love that leaning tree!

  13. I hope you will go back and take lots of pictures of the birds to share with us. This sounds like my kind of place!


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