Success is getting what you want; happiness is liking what you get

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Car Rally – part 2

Morning tea over, it was time to send our friends away at timed intervals for the second part of the car rally.  One of the instructions were to pull into the lay by along SH1 as it wound along the coast to check out a stone plaque.  We had often noticed this on our many trips to and fro along this busy stretch of road and wondered what it was all about.  It is in fact a plaque commemorating the opening of the Plimmerton-Paekakariki Highway in November 1939.  Now we all know a bit more about our roading history!  Everyone made short work of the second part of the competition and we gathered at the Mediterranean Food Warehouse in Paraparaumu for lunch.
DSCF4841Mediterranean Food Warehouse
The delicious smells coming from the pizza oven greeted us as we walked through the doors and found our reserved table.  This establishment specialises in wood fired pizzas and can get very busy,  so we made certain of getting a table by booking ahead.  There were lots of lovely food choices to tempt our taste buds and we spent some time deciding.   Our lasagne was delicious, and the others were very happy with their lunches as well.  Italian music swirled all around us, as we chatted about the trials and tribulations of taking part in a car rally.  That Gelato ice cream in the freezer cabinet looked delicious, we decided.  And it must be much better for us than choosing one of those big pieces of cake, we told ourselves.  It was delicious too, and a nice finish to our meal.
PB281118Enjoying our lunch
Then it was time to see how everyone had got on with their questions as they were navigating around all those  streets.  Rex and Trish came first with 23 out of 24 questions correct, well done!  Calvin and Helen and Anne and Les were  close behind with 21 and 19.  Everyone agreed that there were plenty of roads in the trip which they had not previously travelled along.  Robin presented them  all with a couple of chocolate bars for being good sports and taking part.
A nice walk along Paraparumu Beach after lunch was proposed.  It was such a lovely day that the beach was crowded with families making the most of the good weather.  This little tot was surrounded by a flock  of squawking seagulls all  busy feeding on bread.  He didn’t really seem too worried about all those noisy birds.
DSCF4846 Trapped in the middle of the birds
There is nothing nicer that the smell of salty water, sea breezes and sunshine on a nice day.  People were out swimming, and dogs were busy chasing balls.  We took a gentle walk along the beach and then sat down on at one of the new timber table and form combos dotted around the grassed area.  It was a lovely finish to a good day out with friends.
DSCF4849  Paraparumu Beach

Monday, November 29, 2010

Roads less Travelled

Robin had planned a Car Rally for his outing with our SLG friends.  This involved quite an extensive “reccie” several weeks earlier.  His book containing the Wellington street maps was studied closely as he made his mind up where to go, as he was very keen to take our friends into areas where they probably hadn’t been before.  As we travelled along his proposed route I was quickly taking down notes as he fired questions and answers at me.  Such as “name the large Rest Home on your right”, followed by “what was previously on this site”.  Wellingtonians with long memories would remember dining at the Burma Lodge Hotel in their younger days, now replaced with the Malvina Major Rest Home.  We had to time the planned travel, and decide where to  meet up.  The instructions were all neatly typed up, the name of final destination sealed up tight in emergency envelopes, and we were all set for an interesting day out. 
The big day finally arrived and the weather was glorious, hot and sunny with clear blue skies.  We met up in the car park at the K Road Complex in Kaiwharawhara Road.  Robin handed out the instructions, the sealed emergency envelopes, and checked that everyone had their cell phones with them in case they needed rescuing.   The car rally started with a drive up the steep and narrow Old Porirua Road just across the road, with the teams sent off at 10 minute intervals.
DSCF4833 Do we have to go up that narrow little road?
While our friends were winding their way along the hill suburbs we took the easier route along the motorway to await their arrival at our designated morning tea stop next to the Plimmerton Boating Club .  There is some serious money tied up in the large  boats sitting on their trailers on the wharf. 
DSCF4839 Boats at Plimmerton Boating Club
We were just in time to see some smaller yachts sail away on a regatta.  With Mana Island in the background and the hazy mountains of the far away South Island in the  distance, it was a very pretty summertime scene.
PB281111Mana Island, boats,  and the hazy South Island
It wasn’t long before the cars arrived.  Luckily no major arguments had broken out between the drivers and navigators, although most of them admitted to back tracking a couple of times because they had missed a question.  The thermoses came out for a welcome cuppa and everyone enjoyed some of my home baking with their cup of tea.  Robin dropped the tailgate down on our 4WD to make a handy table.
PB281117Enjoying morning tea at Plimmerton Beach
Morning tea over, it was time for our intrepid travellers to continue on with the second part of their journey. See our next post for the remainder of the day.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cleaning Ladies and Cup Cakes

We enjoyed another night of live entertainment at our  local theatre The Studio last night.   We were there to see the Heretaunga Players production of “Scrubbers”, written by Cenarth Fox.  The play tells the story of five cleaning ladies who all have troubles in their lives.  They meet up in the works tea room before the start of each night shift to share a cuppa, and slowly their problems get aired to the others.  It is not all “doom and gloom”, as this mixed bunch of cleaning ladies get talked into becoming the backing band for Dee, who is trying to break into show business. With songs and dance, it is a heart warming story of down trodden women determined to put some fun back into their lives.
DSCF4832
It was a very hot evening and the temperatures kept rising in this tiny theatre.  Some of the audience were using the programmes to fan themselves in an attempt to cool down.  Goodness knows how the cast coped with the heat under the spotlights, especially during their dance routines.  As part of the play, we were each provided with a delicious cup cake.  These were provided by Buttercup Bakery, now owned by Robin’s cousin Graeme and his wife Annette.  Thanks, cuz, the cup cakes were great.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Relaxed Lunch at the Beach

The sun was shining, the sea breezes were blowing, and Petone Beach  looked welcoming as we stopped in the car park to eat our lunch.  We had noticed during our recent UK trip that we had to pay to park at the beach.  The parking meters have not yet found their way to the beach front in New Zealand.  Away in the distance we could see the Inter Island Ferry making it’s way back to the ferry terminal in Wellington, no doubt filled with happy travellers from the South Island.
DSCF4802 The Inter Island Ferry
A group of youngsters were splashing about in the shallows, with the ports of Wellington and suburban houses on the hills over the other side of Port Nicholson as a backdrop.  We noticed office workers with security tags dangling from their clothing taking a brisk lunch time walk along the esplanade.  More energetic people were jogging along in the hot sunshine.
DSCF4803 Boys at the beach
Others like us were enjoying their lunch.  A solitary seagull was keeping an eye out on the diners, waiting to swoop as soon as someone threw a crust away.  Then away he went, high in the air, to land by the tasty morsel and noisily claim ownership of his prize.
DSCF4804 I’m waiting for a snack
While Robin sipped on his cold Coca Cola I could get my coffee fix from the coffee hut conveniently parked close by.  As well as serving coffee, fruit smoothies were also on the menu.  The young girl was doing a roaring trade as customers queued up to get their drinks.
DSCF4809 Get your coffee here!
The reason we were so relaxed at Petone Beach was because we had just come from an “Unwind and Relaxation using Self Hypnosis”  workshop at the newly extended Cancer Society rooms  in Wellington, given by Dr Patrick McCarthy.  Just entering this building brought back feelings of apprehension and anxiety to me.  Four years ago we came here day after day to use their facilities before heading over the road to the hospital to undergo  many weeks of cancer treatment.  However, Dr McCarthy soon put everyone at their ease as his melodic Scots burr told us jokes before he took us through some relaxation techniques.  Now it is all a matter of practice.  Dr McCarthy has an impressive list of achievements, and is much in demand for his skills in self hypnosis for patients who wish to take this type of treatment further.  We just got a taste of what can be achieved with a short session.
DSCF4801 Cancer Society building
Hanging on the wall  by the reception desk was an artwork donated by the actor Grant Tilly.  “A Dawn Chorus”  beautifully depicted many of New Zealand’s  native birds, and was painted in acrylics on timber and aluminium.
DSCF4799“A Dawn Chorus” by Grant Tilly

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It’s a Man Thing

What’s big and orange and throbs with power?  Why, it’s Russell’s 1969 Bathurst Holden Monaro of course!  He called around today to take Robin out for a spin in his pride and joy. Robin loves V8 cars, he loves the sound of a V8 engine, and has  has had several in his time.  Not one quite like this though.
DSCF4791 Holden Monaro parked outside our house
Russell has owned this car for many years and as can be expected over the years some changes were made to the car.  After a few remedial changes it is now certified as authentic.  When purchased, it had a sun roof installed,  and this has now been changed back to an ordinary roof line, as per the manufacturers specifications.  Russell likes to take it to shows and talk cars with all the other blokes.  Under the bonnet it is as clean as a whistle.  Everything glistens and shines, and there doesn’t seem to be a drop of oil or a speck of dust anywhere.
DSCF4789  The 350ci V8 and engine bay as clean as a whistle
Russell and Robin got into the car, the engine fired up, and the car drove off up the road.  Russell is off work at the moment, recuperating from an operation, so they were going to call in to the workplace to show the car off to his colleagues.
DSCF4792Going in to work
Robin’s former workmates had not seen this car before, and most of them were very impressed.  They peered under the bonnet, sat inside, looked at the dashboard, and generally gave it the once over.  Checking out cars is a man’s thing, isn’t it!
PB241108

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Waiohine Gorge

We like to explore different areas when we can so in the weekend so we took a trip up to the Waiohine Gorge.   Peter and Elaine came along with us for the ride.  We turned off SH2 and drove the 15km into the hills, past farms and life style blocks, along gravel roads, and finally reached our destination. 
DSCF4773
The Waiohine Gorge is full of rugged beauty.  People can go abseiling from the platform leaning out over the river if they so desire.  Not us though, we got a little dizzy just peeping over the edge. The Waiohine River is popular for rafting, tubing and kayaking, and is a Grade 2 river.  Fishermen can try their luck as  both brown and rainbow trout are plentiful upstream.  Deer hunters can try their luck in tracking red deer in the surrounding hills.
 PB201101 Waiohine Gorge from the abseiling platform
As we looked around the picnic area  the midges and sand flies feasted on us.  Day trippers would have to bring along plenty of insect repellent, we decided.  What a shame that ours was back in the caravan, we certainly could have used it that afternoon.  We were keen to see the camping area, but it was obvious that this DOC Camp would not really be suitable for our large caravans.  Back into the car we climbed, and drove up a narrow winding road, getting higher and higher.  We went past stands of pines that were being felled, and numerous logging tracks veered off into the distance.  The road got more and more narrow, and we thought we had missed the campsite, so we decided to turn back.  Once down at the picnic area again, we checked the map on the board.  Unfortunately, we had turned back too soon, before we had come to the camping area and the impressive new swing bridge. 
PB201105 Close by the picnic area
The Waiohine Valley boasts some unique flora and fauna, including the forest tree giants matai, northern rata and red beech. It’s home to such rare species such as the tiny native short tailed bat and the semi parasitic beech mistletoe. Bellbirds, kereru, morepork, tomtits, long tailed cuckoo, kaka, and forest gecko also reside in the forest, along with the native snail.  Also  a peculiar creature called peripetus, an ancient species that is a cross between a caterpillar and a worm.  It slithers about in the loose soil of this area, squirting slime to attack its prey while hunting at night.  Doesn’t that sound like a creature straight out of a horror movie?  Robin spotted this kereru high in the canopy as we walked along the track.
PB201104 Kereru (wood pigeon) high in the trees
On the drive back to camp we stopped at a small flock of black sheep.  The fleeces from these are very popular with home spinners and weavers and the natural coloured wool produces beautiful knitted garments.  On our return back to camp Elaine was horrified to see that Robin’s previously shiny 4WD was now covered in a thick layer of dust.  Never mind, that’s what happens when you travel on gravel roads.
DSCF4775 Baa baa, black sheep

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pancake Cook-off

It was pancakes for breakfast at the motor camp on Saturday morning.  Pancakes these days start out as powder in plastic containers.  Water is added, then it is a matter of shake, shake, shake to mix it all up.  If you can see a few lumpy bits in your container, just shake it up some more.  The German lady in the kitchen cooking her family’s breakfast toast must have been  wondering what on earth we were up to.  There was certainly a lot of laughter going on with the cooks and their helpers.
DSCF4765 Pancake chefs getting ready
The nominated cooks all came along with completely different pans in which to cook their creations.  Elaine used a typical small round pan and was soon churning out pancakes of an acceptable size and shape.  Pamela decided to use a square pan for her pancakes.  The square shaped pancakes were not terribly successful, so in the end she made semi round ones.  We had brought along our secret weapon, the electric waffle maker.  Robin was nominated to be the pancake maker in our family and did a wonderful job.  Liberally spraying the top and bottom sections with oil to stop them sticking, the waffle maker produced  perfect pancakes each time.  We enjoyed our pancake breakfast topped with a selection of berries, whipped cream, and maple syrup.  What a nice way to start the day!
DSCF4767 Yum, it’s pancakes for breakfast

Pike River Mining Disaster

The Pike River mining disaster on Friday 19th November has shocked the whole of New Zealand, this is our own Black Friday.  Twenty-nine miners and contractors are trapped deep underground after an explosion of methane gas.  Incredibly, two people escaped.  One was Russell Smith, who  was running late for work, which he thinks is why he is still alive.  The explosion blew him off the loader he was driving, and knocked him unconscious.   A little earlier, Daniel Rockhouse had  left the rest of the miners about 3km inside the mine at the coal face, about 150m below the surface. He travelled back to refuel a loader about 1.7km into the mine, and found Russell Smith lying unconscious.  It took the two men an hour and a half to struggle out of the mine together and raise the alarm.  The exact sequence will be pieced together by investigators but it is thought the ventilators stopped working, allowing a build-up of gas. The gas then ignited, causing the massive blast shortly before 3.45pm.


Pike River Mine
Because of dangerous levels of methane gas and carbon dioxide gas still being detected, it has not yet been possible to allow recue teams to enter the mine.  However,  a New Zealand Army robot is on standby and it would be used first to check the area where an underground loader is thought to be blocking the access way.  Meanwhile, drilling is being done to provide a second place to take gas readings.  A special drill bit would be used for the last 10 metres to minimise the chance of any sparking when it breaks through into the mine drive below.  Depending on where the drill hole intersects the drive, laser and other imaging gear which can be lowered down the hole may provide more information about the situation deeper in the mine.  
Our thoughts are with the families involved, as they await for news of their loved ones trapped underground. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekend at Carterton

We spent the weekend at a caravan club rally in the wonderful Wairarapa at our favourite motor camp, Carterton Holiday Park.  In fact, we went over a day early, on Thursday.  How wonderful to be retired, we told ourselves, and be able to have long weekends away, just because we can!  The camp was looking lovely, with lots of flowers everywhere, Pete and Di work hard to keep everything looking great.
DSCF4778 Colourful gardens
The weather was glorious, hot and sunny, with a gentle breeze.  White blossoms cascaded gently down all over us as we sat outside under the large shady tree.  It was rather like being in a bridal party, I told Robin.  The large trees certainly encourage the bird life, and we were delighted to hear birdsong from dawn to dusk.  We saw a glossy black tui busily feeding off bright red bottle brush flowers beside our caravan.  And we were entertained by a male blackbird who lustily sang his song proclaiming that this was his territory, so other males better watch out. 
DSCF4753 Our site at the Carterton Holiday Park
Don and Pamela were the last to arrive, so we gathered around and with loud calls of encouragement as Don attempted to back his caravan onto the site.  All this unwanted attention put him off and his backing was rather crooked, to say the least.  “Leave him alone”, a passing camper called out.  No way, a bit of harmless ribbing is all part of the fun.
DSCF4761 It’s not straight, Don!
Pete the manager was a bit worried about the vents on top of his caravan, and concerned that there might be a leak.  Peter and Robin saw him up the ladder and wandered over to see what was happening.  There is nothing that our blokes like better than to offer advice and help out fellow caravanners.
DSCF4776 Offering advice to Pete the manager
A BBQ was planned for Saturday night and we all ate together outside enjoying the pleasant early evening conditions.  The camp was quite full with campers and we watched as children were playing hide and seek.  Their Dad joined in the game too and he seemed to be having as much fun as the youngsters were.  
DSCF4780 It’s BBQ time
We gathered together in the dining room later in the evening for a quiz about capital cities to test our brain power.  The brain power in this family is obviously mixed as Robin came first with the most correct answers while I limped in at last.  We had a lovely surprise when Di, the Camp Mother, brought over a basket of chocolate muffins, just out of the oven, for our supper.  Thanks Di, we really appreciated your kindness.
DSCF4781 Chocolate muffins for supper
The rain came down that evening and continued on Sunday when we were packing up to return home.  Mist and rain followed us on the drive over the Rimutaka Hill.  Major road works are taking place and several corners are being realigned.  This job has been underway for some months but is a major re-alignment of the road and will take many months more to finish.
DSCF4786 Road works on the Rimutaka Hill

Friday, November 19, 2010

Making the Connection

When we purchased our new Leisureline caravan nearly four years ago we were told that it had been fitted with a cable from the house battery that could be connected to the car so that the house battery could be charged while travelling.  This in fact was fitted on our caravan in error, but the manufacturers decided to just leave it in place.  Lucky for us, we have had one half of the system all this time, at no cost.  Early in the week our car and caravan was booked into an auto electrician to fit the remaining part. 
DSCF4736 Discussing the job to be done
This consisted of cabling the length of the vehicle.  In the front was fitted a VSR (Voltage Sensitive Relay).  This relay monitored the voltage of both the vehicle battery and the house battery.  The relay charged the vehicle battery first and when fully charged switched to the house battery.  The relay also prevents the vehicle battery from being drained by the house battery and therefore always being able to start the vehicle. 
DSCF4737 The new connection is the cable next to the tow ball (hitch)
The net result is that the house battery is always fully charged when we arrive at our destination.  In the summer months this feature will not be employed much as the solar panel will be providing more than enough free power but in winter when the sunshine hours are a lot less then having the vehicle charge the house battery will be much appreciated.
DSCF4745 VSR unit fitted under the bonnet
Another acquisition is our new microwave.  We were unaware that we had a problem last time we used our caravan microwave as the light came on, and the turntable turned around.  But no heat was being produced.  After testing, it showed that magnetron was not working, and it was uneconomic to repair.  We purchased a replacement, the same size and brand of our previous one, as it had to fit into an existing aperture.
DSCF4738 New caravan micro-wave
Last but not least, our new rimu clock is now installed on the wall, and held in place with a mounting screw and self adhesive velcro.  As it has survived the rigours of travel over the Rimutaka Hill without coming loose and falling off the wall, we are confident that we used enough velcro to keep it secure.
  DSCF4739 What’s the time?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

An encounter with Alex

It had been a very hot day, and as the temperatures started to cool down in the early evening we decided to go for a walk along the river.  The source of the Hutt River is in the Tararua Ranges and it runs the length of the Hutt Valley, emptying into the sea at Petone.  As protection from the risk of flooding, stop banks (levees) have  been constructed.  These make very popular walkways along the river with people out walking, running, biking, and exercising their dogs.  We stopped to watch as a dog owner kept calling out to her Cocker spaniel.  “Alex, Alex”, she called loudly, as the dog raced around hither and thither on the grass.    His owner told us that Alex was in fact blind.  He is only a few years old, and had gone blind very quickly.  For a blind dog, he seemed very agile and not at all hindered by his lack of sight.
DSCF4660 Alex racing about
Alex finally found his way back to his owner, using his sensitive nose to retrace his steps.  He eagerly licked our hands as we patted him, and admired this happy little dog.  He really enjoys his time running around by the river, she told us.  When walking in residential areas he must be kept well under control so that he doesn’t bump into things or get in the way of traffic.  Alex is booked in to have cataract surgery shortly.  Just how much, we wondered, when we resumed our walk, would the cost of surgery be for a dog?  I have had cataract surgery myself, so we are well aware what the private hospitals charge.  Best wishes to Alex and his very caring owner for a successful outcome. 
DSCF4658

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lens on the World – Brian Brake

Our walk along the waterfront ended at our destination, the Te papa Museum.  We joined the crowds of people streaming into our marvellous national museum, all busy to see what was on offer. 
DSCF4683Waterfront view of Te Papa Museum
The reason for our visit was to view the Brian Brake exhibition.  Brian Brake was New Zealand’s most successful photo journalist.   Although he was incredibly well known for his work, we didn’t know a great deal about him, or his life.  We were interested to see this collection of his life’s work.
DSCF4684
His interest started as a schoolboy when he attended a photography club in Christchurch.  There were many examples of his early black and white prints of New Zealand mountain scenes.  As we moved further into the exhibition, I noticed a sign prohibiting photos.  Oh dear, just as well they hadn’t seen me take this, my first and last one inside the exhibition.
DSCF4686 Somewhere on a NZ mountaintop
Brain Brake‘s work was published internationally in Life, Paris Match and National Geographic magazines.  He is remembered today for his rare photographs of Communist China in the 1950s.  He loved living and working in Asia and produced beautiful images  from the Asian countries.  I particularly liked the photo of the Sanzen-in Temple in Japan.  It showed a black silhouette of a monk through the window of a temple, also in silhouette, set against a flame red tree glowing in the sunshine.
It was interesting reading that he was not happy with his Hadrian Wall photos, which were originally shot in summer.  He felt that the images taken did not adequately portray the miserable conditions of the Roman Centurions, and asked to be able to return in winter when snow was forecast.  When the conditions were right, he flew back from Algiers to London, was chauffeured by limousine,  and completed the journey by helicopter.  This extra travel cost Life magazine US$5000.00, a huge amount for extra photos in 1965.  It goes to show that he was a perfectionist in his work.
His beautiful New Zealand book, Gift of the Sea, is full of stunning scenes.  This book has been re-published several times, and this image of Milford Sound is just one of a whole series of photos of natural beauty.
Brake's iconic image of Milford SoundMilford Sound
Brian Brake died of a heart attack in 1988.  His entire collection of photographs is now housed at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Interested in fashion?  We also checked out the Enriching Fashion exhibition on our visit to Te Papa.  Read all about it on our other blog:   www.romanyquilting.blogspot.com

Saturday, November 13, 2010

On the waterfront

Our trip on the train to Wellington wasn’t quite as straight forward as it should have been, as work was been done on the rail line further down the track.  It was a matter of “Everybody Out” at Petone.  Buses were replacing the trains on this section, so the passengers departed the train, and climbed aboard the big yellow bus to complete our trip to Wellington.
DSCF4670 All aboard the bus at Petone
The weather was warm so we decided on a nice walk along the wharves to get to our destination of Te Papa. We were very interested in checking out the Motorhome Park now operating on the waterfront.  Not only is this handy location close to the  inter-island ferries, but also the shops, cafes and theatres of central Wellington.  Wellington is such a compact city that travellers can leave their campers at the Motorhome Park, and explore the city on foot.
DSCF4671 The new motorhome park in central Wellington
Priced at $50 for a powered site per night, it offers well appointed ablution facilities.  The manager advised that sadly caravan owners like us are at a disadvantage, or motor homes for that matter over 7 metres, as these could not be easily accommodated. As we would require two sites to accommodate both the caravan and tow car and therefore two parking fees.  Yet another ill conceived camping area that makes no allowance for locals and is run by a parking company rather than a camp operator.  If only consultation had taken place before conception a facility may have been constructed that locals could use as well, its all for the foreigners and not Kiwis. If campsites are made to the NZS standard then they should be able to accommodate all but the very largest of rigs. However, for motorhome travellers under 7 metres passing through Wellington, it seems a good idea to be able to park up in safety so close to the city centre for a night or two.
DSCF4672  Facilities available at the motorhome park
The police launch Lady Elizabeth was in port and wash getting a wash down by one of the crew.  The Police Launch Services started in 1941.  Under wartime regulations, the Government requisitioned a launch being built in Picton from Fred Musgrove, who  had been building a 38ft pleasure launch for use in the Marlborough Sounds. Fred had named the launch Lady Elizabeth after his grandmother - and not after royalty as many presumed.  This is the fourth police boat of the same name.
  DSCF4674Police launch Lady Elizabeth
The wharves are well used by the public and we came across a group of youngster having fun on their skateboards.  Up and down the steps they raced, making it look so very easy.
DSCF4677 Skate boarders hard at work
The yachts were out on the harbour, sailing elegantly past.  Being on the coast, Wellington always has plenty of wind to drive the yachts along.  We wondered if they were taking part in a regatta or just out having fun.
DSCF4676 Yachts on wellington Harbour.
This bronze statue of Kupe the explorer, his wife Hine together with Pekahourangi pointing to the land of Aotearoa, (New Zealand), after their epic voyage across the Pacific in their canoe Matohourua, stands proudly on the waterfront.  Originally created in plaster of Paris by sculptor William Trethewey, it  featured in the 1940 NZ Centennial Exhibition.  It later stood for many years in the foyer of Wellington Station.  In 1999 the statue was cast in bronze as a millennium project and unveiled in March 2000 as a tribute to all who have come to these shores.
DSCF4681 First sight of land
Also on the waterfront is the Plimmer’s Ark Restoration Project.  In 1840s the ship “Inconstant” was entering Wellington Harbour and foundered on rocks.  The wreck was later sold to John Plimmer who refitted it and used it as a floating shop for some time. 
DSCF4719 Drawing of Plimmers Ark
The long forgotten remains were rediscovered in 1997 under the Old Bank Arcade in Lambton Quay.  The Plimmer’s Ark Restoration Project is conserving the remains of this historic piece of early Wellington history.
DSCF4714 Robin looking at the remains of Plimmer’s Ark
This is the largest ship in New Zealand ever to be conserved.  Water plays over the timbers to stop them from drying out.
DSCF4715 Timbers being sprayed with water
There is much of interest to see on the Wellington waterfront.  Years ago it was a no-go area full of cargo ships, their loads and huge cranes, and public entry was not allowed.  These days the whole of the waterfront is an open space much enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.