The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 45
"The Auckland Domain, with its gardens, pleasure and sporting grounds, is the summer resort of citizens and the people. The Domain Board deserve credit for their continued efforts to improve these woody solitudes by road-making and planting of native trees, and while we write, a beautiful carriage drive through the most charming of the scenery is being made, in order that invalids and well-to-do citizens may easily and comfortably take in all the best views of country which the green openings offer to the eye, and enjoy the sweet breezes and skyey influences which nature affords to her admiring children. Many of the paths are agreeably sheltered, and in other parts green inlets seem formed especially for rural enjoyment. The Good Templars and members of benevolent societies, of which there are many page 84 in the city and suburbs, invariably spend a portion of their annual festivals in the shadows of the Domain, and no more appropriate spot could be found. The Acclimatisation Gardens, moreover, add to the pleasures of those who can enjoy the companionship of flowers, birds, and animals. These gardens, however, have not of late presented that pleasant aspect which they formerly presented; as, we are bound to say, there is a want of care and industry evidenced in many parts of this enclosure, due partly to the long illness of the curator, and partly, perhaps, to a want of the necessary funds. The outer walk below these gardens is known as "Lovers' Walk." This walk is peculiarly enjoyable in the hot summer season, when the overhanging trees cast their broad cool shadows over the footpath, and afford a shelter to the singing birds, and the variety of shrubs and flowers that adorn its rude and leafy slope. The gradual descent possesses a grand intermingling of the wild and beautiful in a comparatively small compass, where creeping tendrils wreathe with white and purple cups of the convolvulus, and a rich garlandry of leaves, with the long bramble, drooped in arches here and there over the bank, hanging across the fan-like leaves of New Zealand ferns, making "The Lovers' Walk" a spot which the poet-heart would select for a meditative walk, surrounded as it is with all green and lovely things. Almost in the centre of the Domain are gardens which do credit to the industry and skill of the gardener, and through which a path passes to the Auckland cricket ground, which, at considerable expense, is second to none in the colony."