Tag Archives: Wellington Harbour

A trip to the South Coast

A break in the weather meant a jaunt down to the South Coast of Wellington. It was a stunning day but any breeze that was blowing was still bitterly cold. Our climate can be harsh here so any day when the sky is clear blue, the wind low and the sun shining brightly is a day to get out and about.

It has been a long time since we visited this wild, wind-swept and often stormy stretch of coastline. When the southerlies pound in the sea is an extreme and dangerous force.

It is also near the entrance to the Wellington Harbour and around the road to the west is the runway for the airport.

Across the Wellington Heads the land is no less rugged or any more hospitable.

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The channel into the harbour has many jagged rocks and reefs so navigation is done very carefully, often with a locally based Pilot to steer foreign ships safely into the harbour.
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There are no safe swimming beaches but plenty of rocks to climb and explore.
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Diving is a popular past time for the people brave enough to go into the icy waters.

The sea here is a mix of Cook Strait (that divides the two main islands of New Zealand) and the Pacific Ocean.
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Sadly the high, snow-laden Kaikoura mountains at the northern part of the South Island were hazy but they help explain why the air is so very, very cold at the moment.
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After braving the rough, stony beach to take some photos, including this one of one of the regular Ferries that cross Cook Strait
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and of this aeroplane coming in to land at the airport, we headed to a popular café in nearby Lyall Bay to enjoy a hot drink.
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From the footpath near the café the view goes back to the airport and beyond that the beach we had just stopped at to take the photos.
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In contrast this is a sandy beach and people surf and swim here although the water is never particularly warm.

Bracing and beautiful summed up the experience.

A stroll along Wellington’s waterfront.

Yesterday dawned hot and sunny again! We had a mid afternoon pick up from the airport to do so we packed a picnic lunch and headed to Oriental Bay. As it turned out we joined many thousands of others who were enjoying the weather and the wonderfully accessible waterfront that Wellington Harbour now boasts.

We ate under the benevolent gaze of St Gerard’s Monastery (the lean is mine, not the buildings, although I think there are concerns over its strength in an earthquake now)
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We watched people enjoying this stretch of beach along Oriental Bay.

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This is an area of very desirable real estate and you can see why from views such as this.

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After lunch we joined the throngs and strolled along the waterfront and found these points of interest. A bollard painted pink.
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Others along here were yellow. A poem by Katherine Mansfield about how windy it can really be in Wellington and along the harbour’s edge.

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This wonderful statue illustrating that at times the wind is sooooo strong that one can lean into it without falling forward. I really like this chap and his flexible back.

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And a new feature on the waterfront for people to leap from into deep water below. This chap was very sure of himself and I captured the marvelous splash he made.

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On the way back to the car we passed these two buskers who had wisely chosen a spot under a Pohutukawa tree and within the shade of a building. It was a very hot afternoon.

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We are very fortunate to have such a pleasant waterfront to enjoy in Wellington.

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In addition it is a very busy working port. It is interesting and vibrant, containing new innovations and older personalities.

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And we only managed to walk a section of it yesterday. The photo below shows the part we did not get to yesterday.

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I will go back again and take some more photos to share with you.

A good day for a jaunt

Yesterday was the sort of day to go for a jaunt.  It was sunny and warm, the sky was blue with only fluffy white clouds and the wind frisky but not as stormy as previous days.

 With holidays about to end we set off across the hills and onto the Western Hutt motorway, across the first bridge over the Hutt River and on to a specialist shop I needed to visit.

 My shopping was successful and off we went again down through the suburbs, out through an industrial area and then alongside the Wellington Harbour on its eastern side.

 We followed the road as far as it goes out to Eastbourne and enjoyed the contrast between sea on one side and steep bush covered hills on the other.  The Bougainvillea’s were strident in their pinks and reds in people’s gardens

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and every so often I think I spied a Northern Rata flowering. ( The Rata is in the same family as the Pohutukawa)

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A short distance back along the road we came back to Williams Park in Days Bay.  I visited this beach and park many, many times as a child.  

ImageWe wandered in the park, taking a path behind the duck pond that has been there ever since I can remember

Imageand then stopped for some lunch at the Pavilion café in the park.

 After lunch we strolled across the road and out along the wharf where the East West Ferry berths and where young people still like to leap off the wharf’s side and into the deep harbour waters.  The chill of the water does not deter them, nor does the height that they leap from.

 I stood and gazed out through the Heads of the harbour, off to the horizon which seemed so very far away and wondered about voyaging out there, off on an adventure to another land which would take many, many days.  I am not planning on taking any trips but it was nice to briefly dream and to let my thoughts drift with the sea around me.

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On the way back to the car I heard a crashing sound above me in the native trees and there above was a very big fat Keruru.  This one was not as shy as others I have photographed and I managed this shot.

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There were simple pleasures to be enjoyed yesterday.