Standing at the Gudex Memorial in the Maungakawa Reserve many visitors have enjoyed the view and the peaceful surroundings. On a clear winters day you can see the snow on Mt Ruapehu and Mt Taranaki (Egmont).
The stone obelisk was erected in memory of Mr Michael Christian Gudex MBE, MA, MSc, (teacher, scientist and horticulturists) for his contribution to the preservation of New Zealand’s natural resources.
The reserve was created under the guidance of the Lands and Survey Department in 1953 and the Maungakawa Scenic Reserve Board – a voluntary group – received much benefit from foundation member, Mr Gudex in help and advice.
Seven acres were set aside from the reserve to become GudexMemorial Park with an unveiling ceremony on 23 June 1968.
The area – the site of the former Te Waikato Sanatorium – still had evidence of the old world garden planted in the 1890’s when Mrs Sophia Thornton and her family were in residence.
Walnuts, camellias, rhododendrons and clumps of snowdrops were all mingled with the surrounding bush, and only a little landscaping and the provision of some facilities were necessary.
This has become a place of tranquil beauty with bush walks, a picnic area, native bush and birdlife, a place to contemplate, an artist’s mecca, a tourist attraction, a place to study natural science and geography.