For those of you unsure what is going on, I am currently reminiscing on my time here in Wellington and, thus, blogging about my several adventures around the city. So far, I have been hiking and rock climbing on the Kapiti Coast, and explored the many beauties of the Miramar Peninsula, all summarised in my past couple of posts – a series which I like to call the Wonders of Wellington.
To continue on my wandering Wellingtonian adventures, I hit the next stop on my list: The Wellington Bays. Comprising almost the entire coastline south and west of Wellington city is a series of bays, and I was on a mission to make sure I visited each one that is easily accessible. A couple weeks ago, I managed to visit the bays of the Miramar Peninsula, including Moa Point, Tarakena Bay, Breaker Bay, Karaka Bays, Scorching Bay, Mahanga bay, Shelly Bay, Shark Bay and Evans Bay (it was a busy couple of days to say the least!). And this time I was looking to complete my circuit by exploring the areas comprising Lyall Bay all the way down to Owhiro Bay – the last of the Bays reachable by public transport (at least to my knowledge).
My first trip to the bays was to Houghton Bay, and from there I wandered around the coast to Island Bay and Lyall Bay, stopping at some pretty incredible places along the way. When I hopped off the bus at Houghton, I was immediately greeted by the bright blue ocean before me, and the sight of a few surfers taking advantage of the bright and sunny day to hit the waves. I, personally, unprepared and without a swimsuit, walked a little further down to Princess Beach where I sat down basking in the sun for a little bit and taking in the scenery around me.
Houghton Bay (above) and Princess Beach (below)
Once I’d had my fill of sun, I crossed the road into the reserve and made my way up to Te Raukawa Moana Lookout and Te Raekaihau Point for spectacular views of the Taputeranga Marine Reserve and its surroundings. From there, I simply made my way back down, taking a different track this time to see a different side of the hill, and walked along the road to Lyall Bay, stopping at Maranui Café for a late lunch.
A few day later I took the bus to Owhiro Bay, this time walking westward and entering the Te Kopahou reserve and walking the Red Rocks Walkway. This is a track that snakes a small section of the south coast of Wellington, from Owhiro Bay and culminating at Sinclair Head. Along they way you are treated to an uninterrupted view of the ocean, the rocky beaches and the beautiful hills behind them,
Almost at the end of the trail is the Red Rocks, that which the track is named after and for what the reserve is known. It is said by the Maori that the rocks are red because Kupe (a famous explorer) stained them with his blood when he was trying to collect paua on the shore. Another story goes that the red is from the blood of his daughters who cut themselves out of grief and worry over his long voyage. There is, I imagine, some scientific reasoning to the colour of the rocks too but, personally, I like to take the explanation of the Maori folklore! A short walk down from the Red Rocks is Sinclair’s Head where, during the months of May to August, a colony of fur seals takes up residence to feed in preparation for the breeding season.
Once it started to get dark, I made my back up the track and caught the bus into the city, content with my level of exploration.
If you’re interested, keep an eye out for my next post where I talk about more bays, more hills, more ocean and some lighthouses!