BE WARNED: Long Post Ahead (but several pictures to help get through it!)
In an attempt to make the most of my remaining time here in Wellington, I have for the last couple of weeks been galivanting around the region with the ultimate goal to make sure I hit every major spot before I leave. So far, it’s been going extremely well, and I’ve managed to go to some incredible places! I’ve already recounted my time in Paekakariki and Pukerua (see my last post!), and over the next few posts I will continue to share these adventures with you, so you too can get to see the Wonders of Wellington.
My first adventure south of Wellington was to the neighbourhoods of Miramar, Maupuia and Karaka Bays, which all comprise the northern tip of the Miramar peninsula. It started off as simply a visit to the famous Weta Workshop – where they were having an event to celebrate its 11th birthday – but after I realised, why not just walk around and see what else there is! And boy, am I glad I did.
The Weta Workshop is known as the home of movie set magic in New Zealand, and its most famous customer is the Lord of the Rings trilogy, for which they the special effects make up. I’m not a massive Lord of the Rings fan (read: I know next to nothing about the series) but it’s still pretty cool thing to check out if you’re into the arts, movies, or anything creative.
Weta itself was pretty awesome, but what I loved most was walking along the coast and seeing all the incredible views. My first stop was to Scorching Bay, where there is lovely little beach community. The day was slightly gloomy so there weren’t many people there, but I still got a feeling of how lovely it must be on the right day. I then walked up along the coast to the top of the peninsula.
Perched on the hills overlooking the harbour were some of the nicest houses I’ve seen in Wellington. Did I already plan my retirement of having a house on the hills in Miramar overlooking the Wellington harbour and spending my days at the café on scorching bay and riding my boat out into the water? Definitely.
Right at the tip of the peninsula is the Point Halswell Lighthouse. And from there you get a beautiful panoramic view of the whole Wellington region – from Oriental Bay and the city centre, right across the Wellington Harbour to towns and landscapes of Lower Hutt.
After a little rest at the lighthouse, I set off down the other side of the peninsula, making my way through Shelly Bay and Maupuia until, eventually, I ended up back in Miramar – stopping at the quirky Chocolate Fish Café in Shelly Bay.
Just a couple of days ago, I completed my exploration of the Miramar Peninsula by going to the southern neighbourhoods – Moa Point, Breaker Bay and Seatoun. If you think the views from northern neighbourhoods were spectacular, then wait till you see the scenery here. Days later and I’m still blown away. I started off at Moa Point which is right next to Wellington Airport but if you simply looked at the pictures you would never have guessed. If it weren’t for the houses behind me and the planes flying overhead, I would have thought I was in the middle of nowhere, miles away from any civilisation.
From there I walked along the Coastal Walkway up to Rangitatau Reserve to see the Ataturk Memorial. It’s a sobering monument to honour the founder and first president of Turkey and commemorate the Turkish soldiers who fought in Gallipoli alongside Australian and New Zealand forces.
From Ataturk Memorial Park I made my way to Breaker Bay via the Eastern Walkway that cuts through the bush high up above the coast. In Breaker Bay, I got to wander around an abandoned fort used in both World War I and II, but that was now overrun with brush and covered in graffiti. Nevertheless, it was pretty cool and – as I’m sure you’re gathering already – had breath-taking views. I couldn’t stop myself from taking pictures so get ready for a slight photo overload …
The Views from the Eastern Walkway (above) and Fort Dorset (below)
Right at the point of the headland was Point Dorset and from there one can even see – quite clearly, I might add – Pencarrow Head and the Pencarrow and Baring Head lighthouses all the way across the harbour. (Keep an eye out for an upcoming post where I detail my trip there!)
After a long while staring off into the distance and feeling very content, I made my way down to the hill to neighbourhood of Seatoun where I caught the bus back to the city. While the weather was a little gloomy when I went to the Northern parts, it was definitely on my side this time around – as they say here, you can’t beat Welly on a good day!