Round the Bays

Give that Wellington sits on the flooded crater of an old volcano, it’s not surprising that every bit of coastline gets labelled as a bay of some sort. Some bays have houses, some are quieter, some are almost completely deserted. They’re all different and I haven’t found one yet that fails to delight – so here is a collection of these gorgeous hidey-holes.

Makara Beach is a remote spot to the north of Wellington, a favourite when I want to escape from the city.



Tapataranga feels almost as remote but is easier to reach from Wellington.




Island Bay is, well, just Island Bay. Perhaps the busiest of the outer beaches with a developed community, it’s nevertheless very pleasant.



Lyall Bay is just round the corner from Island Bay but is less busy and more remote. On a rainy blustery day you go to Lyall bay for the wild sea and then Island Bay for a warm coffee.


Oriental Bay is on the inner rim of the crater and is one of the nicer parts of Wellington City with a tree-lined promenade, bandstand, cafe culture and sunshine; everything you could want, in fact, if you can afford it.

Eastbourne lies opposite Wellington on the inside of the crater. Although a bit of a commuter place, it’s actually quite remote nd beyond the town itself the bay just trails off to Pencarrow Lighthouse and the way to the big old Tasman Sea. Again it’s a nice spot if you just want to escape.

And lastly a photo of the main Wellington Bay again – the main crater itself – on a grey rainy day, just to show it’s not always sunny!







Hawkins Hill and the Wind Turbine

These days there are whole fields of wind turbines lurking near in the hils near Wellington, but ‘back in the day’ the city was a forerunner in embracing wind power. The nickname ‘Windy Wellington’ made it an obvious choice, though the wind here is often so gusty or so strong that in those the turbine had to be stowed quite a lot of the time.

The lone turbine still stands on Hawkins Hill, though actually it’s a newer version of the old one; and the view, of course, is superb. Around it there’s a rather nice nature reserve, though it would be wrong to think it’s easily accessible for walking. It has some exciting cycle tracks, but when I walked there I got completely lost and found myself in some distress before I finally managed to get back to civilisation!