The Coast of Most
Home is where the heart is – and this past week I’ve been there. Let me show you ‘my place’ – where I lived for the first eighteen years of my life (the formative years).
I grew up in Karori (the only bit of this post that isn’t on the coast). Here we find Zealandia, an ecosanctuary where ornithologists are dedicated to studying and re-establishing native bird populations in the Wellington bush and suburbs. What an inspirational area to visit – and I recommend you do.
Matthew and I stay at Island Bay, one of the southern beaches. The view is so different depending on the weather that throughout this post there are several photos of views from our lounge window. The hills beyond are the eastern ranges of Pencarrow. This is a pearl of a morning. (We watch the planes coming in if it is a northerly and going out if it is a southerly.)
Several times per day the Interislander ferries sail past us commuting between North and South Islands.
The next beach along is Owhiro Bay. The mountains in the distance are the Kaikoura mountains of the South Island. They have fresh snow on them – gorgeous – due to a sudden southerly blast the previous day.
Right in the heart of Wellington city is Oriental Bay.
The following morning the weather has changed. Clouds and northerly gales are the order of the day.
We drive across the Rimutaka Range to Palliser Bay. To call it windy is a gross understatement!
Further around the coast (another 50 kms) is Ngawi where crayfish are caught. Lack of a harbour means that bulldozers have to haul the fishing boats up onto the sand. “A graveyard for bulldozers” is how it is described to me.
Cape Palliser is the southern-most tip of the North Island.
On the drive home the northerly gales are so strong that rubber piping on the roof of our hire car actually peels off and starts to flap about! We have to get out (hold onto the car) and pound it back in with our fists and finger tips.
By next morning the wind has changed back to southerly – so in our lounge view planes are taking off.
We drive over to Makara to see our dear friends Jenifer and George Welch (who used to own Makara Riding School where I spent as much of my teenage years as I could riding horses). Jenifer and George give us a huge treat, a history and geography tour over the hills into Terawhiti Station, completely out of bounds to the general public.
Later that afternoon, back in Island Bay…
Finally it is our turn to fly out of Wellington. We take off to the north. Can you see our Air New Zealand shadow?
The Coast of Most what? Most hills, cliffs, waves, spray, swells, seabirds, winds, rain, clouds, sun, planes, ships, inter-island ferries, rugged landscapes, distant mountains, seaside cafés with great views, friendly locals, narrow winding twisty roads, and constantly changing light. And because Wellington is just a little bit seismic, what you see today might look different tomorrow. You just never know.