Apart from the exhibitions the Museum is well known for its beautiful gardens and recreational area. Since its establishment in 1991 the leisure park has grown in size and is slowly improving. The mini zoo is very popular with local people and also serves an educational purpose. Other features of the gardens include fish ponds, children’s playground and picnic areas.
The Museum compound is facing the ocean and swimming and water play is a popular activity for visitors. The Museum grounds offer one of the few clean and safe areas for swimming in Gunungsitoli. There is a pier for swimmers to dive into the deeper water, and also a beach with shallow water for children. There are also a few shallow protected ponds for the smallest children. Near the beach and the children’s playground are several waterslides.
The gardens themselves are a great place to meet friends for coffee or have a picnic with family. There are many outdoor seating areas and day shelters throughout the gardens as well as many authentic Nias artefacts such as megalith statues and wooden sculptures. Large trees provide shade and the sea breeze means that the gardens are always cool. This is a peaceful green oasis in the heart of busy Gunungsitoli town. Due to their beauty the gardens are also a popular location for couples to have their wedding photographs taken.
The areas not used by the zoo or for recreation have been turned into a herbal garden where Nias medicinal plants are grown. Some of the plants are harvested and processed into herbal medicine which is sold at the museum, benefitting many people. For the last few years the garden have also been used as an educational tool for students to learn about the Nias environment and traditional medicinal plants. The herbal garden is an effort to preserve the traditional use and knowledge of medicinal plants which is an important part of Nias heritage.
On weekends many people visit the museum and the gardens. But on weekdays it is very quiet and many people appreciate the calm and peaceful atmosphere here. Closeness to nature can be felt at this place. Visitors can enjoy the sea breeze, watch the sunset, listen to seagulls flying past and observe fishing boats return to port. The gardens are also a great place to meet people, either informal meetings with friends and family or official meetings for work or civic groups.
Visit the Museum Gardens and enjoy the closeness to nature!
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