It's on 13 acres and boasts a castle, picnic areas lakeside, tunnels, bridges, a majestic staircase and remnants of a once used tennis court. Over 7000 trees were planted including a magnificent avenue of Kauri trees which reach high into the sky.
This amazing park was started by Jose Paronella in 1929 and the first thing he built was the 47 step stone staircase to move materials between the lower and upper levels. The inspiration for the castle came from childhood memories of Catalonian castles, and he and his work crew, designed an entertainment area. It was a movie theatre which was transformed into a ballroom at the weekend. It was known to feature live bands and a massive mirror ball hung from the ceiling.
Unfortunately in 1979 a fire swept through the castle and left only the walls and turrets. The magnificent ballroom was gone and only the shell remains today.
The story of Jose Paronella, his wife Margarita, daughter Teresa and son Joe is a fascinating and somewhat tragic tale, and taking a tour with a guide, gives you some idea of what they went through to build and maintain their dream.
I'll definitely go back to learn more about this wonderful family and explore areas that were missed today.