Mount Victoria

Mount Vic has been on our list of the things to see in Wellington since we arrived.  We finally tackled it yesterday, except we did it in a lazy way – instead of a 1,5 hike up the hill we took a bus there. 15 minutes and we were close to the summit, shielding our eyes from the bright sun and going aaaahhhh over the spectacular views. You can literally see most of Wellington from there.

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The airport that we came so close to yesterday. You can see the landing strip between two bays (Evans Bay and Lyall Bay). It’s the coolest little airport! IMG_4587

And here is the dock where we sat yesterday watching the planes land

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A plane taking off

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From this photo, could you guess you were in a capital city? And that’s why they call Wellington the coolest little capital!

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Antarctica is due south from this point of New Zealand. No wonder the water in Wellington Bays is freezing!

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Here you can see a strip of the beach at Oriental Bay where we would end up just an hour later IMG_4687

On our way back we had a lovely walk through a bush, deeply inhaling pine-scented air and listening to cicadas and birds. Fairly idyllic, until we took a wrong turn and our stroll turned into a steep descent, clutching tree branches and roots and occasionally resorting to butt-scooting. IMG_4671

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A tui bird . Tui is one of the symbols of New Zealand and a name of a beer brand. Tuis are unique to New Zealand. Tui are considered to be very intelligent, much like parrots.[8] They also resemble parrots in their ability to clearly imitate human speech,[9] and were trained by Māori to replicate complex speech.[10] Tui are also known for their noisy, unusual call, different for each individual, that combine bellbird-like notes with clicks, cackles, timber-like creaks and groans, and wheezing sounds. Song birds have two voiceboxes[11] and this is what enables them to perform such a myriad of vocalisations. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tui_%28bird%29)

We used to hear tuis all the time when we lived in Kelburn, so it was lovely to see one again.

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When we finally emerged below, on Oriental Parade, we were ready for a swim. The water in Oriental Bay looks amazingly clear, and that day, wish sun rays shining through the water and illuminating the golden sand below, it looked very inviting. We were told that water in Wellington Harbour is much warmer than in Owhiro bay die to it being more sheltered (and as I mentioned before, Owhiro Bay is right in the Cook Strait.) Well, it might have been marginally warmer but still pretty cold. It gets better once you get used to it, but after a short swim my entire body was tingling. It was lovely nonetheless. The beach wasn’t too crowded, the air was warm and the sun was still out at around 5 pm

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We finally had around and headed for Courtney Place to take the bus back. When we were nearing our bus stop, we heard some drums and decided to investigate. It was a performace by a samba band, Wellington Batucada. It was an unexpected treat and we stayed a while to listen and we know both want to play big bass drums.

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