Queen Elizabeth Park

The Bell Tower

Masterton once had a majestic clock and bell tower, part of the Post Office and sited in the centre of town. When the Post Office was built the Government included a substantial clock tower but refused to fund the timing mechanism. It took a few years but locals...

Masterton Beautifying Society

The Masterton Beautifying Society was established in 1923, and although interested in other projects in the town, played a major role in the development of the park. One of their first projects was the planting of a range of native trees in the park, trees the Society...

Lake of Remembrance

Shortly after the Masterton Borough Council assumed control of Masterton Park, another 10 acres were added to the northern boundary. Mastertonians had long craved a substantial lake and say this ground, and its proximity to the Waipoua River, as a chance to provide a...

Coronation Hall

Shortly after the Masterton Borough Council assumed control of Masterton Park in the early 20th century, they embarked on a number of improvements, including the erection of tea rooms. In June 1906 a couple of local carpenters offered to build a combined tea rooms,...

Band Rotunda

During 1902, all through the British Empire governments were consulting about appropriate measures to mark the coronation of the new king, Edward VII. There was discussion about a fitting memorial in Masterton too, with talk of a Coronation Avenue. Lawyer W G Beard...

Pownall Gates

The main entrance to Queen Elizabeth Park is marked by a handsome set of gates commemorating the work of Charles Pownall, Mayor of Masterton. Pownall had been mayor for over eight years in 1902, his terms (he alternated with George Heron) being marked by progress in...

Dendrochronology

Many of the North American conifers in Queen Elizabeth Park date from the time of the first plantings in the late 1870s. The redwoods and Douglas Firs dominate the skyline, but sometimes their very height places them at risk – especially in a stormy summer. The summer...

Bandrooms

The Masterton community has supported a wide variety of brass bands over the years, the main band changing its name numerous times. From the early 20th century the band’s practice room was located in Queen Elizabeth Park, firstly in the old Teak Kiosk, built in 1906...

Cenotaph

Proposals for a fitting memorial to the soldiers who died in World War One were first aired in April 1916 and gathered momentum during the last years of the war. A committee was formed to erect an impressive monument, opting for a casting of sculptor Frank Lynch's...

Grandstand

Masterton Park, established in 1878 was seen as the logical place for local sporting events. A large space in the centre of the reserve was left unplanted to act as the town’s main sporting ground and gathering place. The Masterton Park Trust formed to develop and...

Stockade

Wairarapa was the only district on the North Island where was no bloodshed between Maori and pakeha, but the events of 1868 nearly changed that. The Government had two insurrections on its hands, one on the East Coast where Te Kooti fought a series of well-publicised...

A Publick Reserve

When Masterton was first settled in 1854 a 40-acre section was set aside as a “publick reserve” on the eastern side of Dixon Street. It became mixed up with the education reserves that formed its northern boundary and was not used as a recreation reserve for the first...