Tag Archives: Wellington

Work in Wellington

Wellington beckoned with some photographic work for some ads and a manual for a client I’ve worked with for nearly 20 years. The plan was to drive down in Rafe, take my gear and photograph some people in and around Wellington doing their thing.

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Plenty of room

So off we went checking in with our old friends Dianne and Gary along the way in Taupo, and the next day, checking in to the Wellington Top 10 in Petone.

Lots of space

They were doing an off season deal where if we stayed for more than 5 days, we’d get an extra two nights for free. That worked perfectly for us as the work was finished in 5 days and we’d get to catch up with some of Fiona’s cousins for the last days.

One of the best games / entertainment spaces I’ve seen in a Holiday Park.

The client also arranged for a small rental car so I could get around to all their sites and get the piccies done which was magic.

Fiona up on Mt Victoria

Once the work was done, we had a half day where we could have a bit of a look around with the car to see my old school in Clifton Terrace in the city in Wellington. Its now called a model school. I’m not sure what that means but it was two classrooms and went from the primers all the way to standard 6.  I was about standard 2 or thereabouts and occasionally used to catch the Cable Car to school 🙂

The house we lived in then has now gone and is roughly where the motorway is by the Aurora Tce bridge.

One of the old Cable car trams

We checked our old house in Eastbourne and later, my grandparents old house in Melrose over the hill from the Zoo. The house was huge with a massive garden up the hill behind which was almost vertical.

My grandparents house in Melrose.. my room was the top floor on the left. The workshop was the row of windows by the terrace above the garages.

I remember watching the old Bristol Freighters taking off from Wellington Airport across the other side of Lyall Bay.  My bedroom when we stayed there (we were living in Christchurch then) was on the top floor and used to get the lighthouse flicking through the window every now and then on the wall… amazing.

He also had an amazing workshop and showed me how to make string puppets and a lot of other things. All sorts of things came out of that small workshop. He made some trolleys for us  (younger brother and sisters) to play with on the terrace outside above the garages.

He was a really clever guy and I could never work out why my mothers nick name for him was foolie 🙂
A house with lots of memories.

Te Papa was closed

After returning the rental car, we caught the bus into the city with the idea that we would visit Te Papa and see what had been updated but that was first day of lockdown and it was closed,  so we settled for a nice lunch at Mac’s with a glass of wine.. very civilised !

Fiona about to tuck in a meal at Mac’s

We’ve stayed at the Top 10 before and it is really the only Motorcamp in Wellington for bigger vehicles. It is well equipped with everything and being quiet, we pretty much had a whole section of 6 parks to ourselves for the first part of the week.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

I had to photograph some people (formal business portraits) using a portable studio and they were very obliging in letting me use a corner of their conference room for an hour.

More of that amazing games room

They are about to install a heated pool which sounds huge. That will be great as it is a little bit removed from anywhere but the bus stop to the city is only a 10 minute walk away.

The new pool goes here..

They have the best TV / Games room I’ve ever seen in a campground and everything else is tip top. A nice park with everything you would expect from a Top 10 park.

Earlier in the week, we checked in with Fiona’s Cousins, Shona and Bruce and their partners in Plimmerton.

After stopping at their local supermarket which has the best parking for Motorhomes I’ve ever seen, we stayed in Fiona’s other cousin Malcolm and Michelle’s  driveway before heading back up to Taupo.

Outside the New World at Paraparaumu Beach.. great motorhome parking !

It’s always nice to catch up with Dianne and Gary in Taupo. Their house is on the market so it might be our last night at their old house. We enjoyed a fun night with a glass of wine or two and lots of laughs.

Parked with power at Gary and Di’s in Taupo for the last time (Probably)

A week of fun in Wellington with a bit of work thrown in but lots of great memories and nice to catch up with people we haven’t seen for a while too.

Just leaving Waiouru on the Desert Rd.

We are Sailing

One of the things that winds me up or stresses me for some strange reason, is catching ferries with Rafe (or like the Chunnel with Ralph). I think its just having to be somewhere at a certain time and usually involves waking up to an alarm early too but its always fun and interesting.

Click on the images for Hi Res

Wellington Harbour

The check in time for our Bluebridge ferry was 7am and we were there at 06:30.  We were first!

Oriental Bay

Around 7.30, we were pointed towards the ferry and parked up with some other Motorhomes and went upstairs. As I left Rafe, I clicked on the handbrake but thought later, possibly not as hard as I could have but I needn’t have worried. It was in gear and the sea was calm.

Leaving Wellington

Upstairs in the lounge, we sat down and I ordered Bacon and Eggs for us both, which was good as getting up early, we hadn’t had any breakfast.  It was one of those superb Wellington days as we left the harbour.

Evans bay and the Airport

As we got around and into Cook Strait, the wind was blowing nearly 30 knots from the North West. The sea was still calm. Yep, the handbrake thingy did cross my mind but then the sea was flat as a pancake.

Two girls trying to get some pictures of each other in the wind on deck.

I went for a walk around the ship as we nearing the Tory Channel and there were a couple of girls up on the Observation deck trying to get pictures of each other in the wind. It was hilarious.

Getting close to the South Island. The interislander leaving the Tory Channel
Entering the Tory Channel. North Island behind
The old Perano Whaling station

Getting into the Tory Channel and everyone came out on the observation deck as the wind had dropped right off.

Rafe with the handbrake on with people getting off at Picton.

We were in Picton early and when I got back to Rafe, I found that I had in fact put the handbrake on properly and had no need to even think about it 🙂 just my imagination !  Its like putting the keys somewhere daft and how often do we all do that.

Picton looking great in the sun.

With the usual Bluebridge efficiency, we were off the ferry with ease and on our way to Blenheim.

Getting Close to the Ferry

For our last night in Wellington before the ferry, we thought it would be sensible to get a bit closer to avoid the weekday traffic with our early check in being 7am at the Bluebridge terminal.

Click on the Images for Hi Res

The NZMCA App screamed out the Petone  Club as a good place to be and we cruised in the late morning to this massive park.

Petone Club

There’s plenty of room to park and they’re very obliging and helpful. They have a Buffet going for lunch and dinner and you’re very welcome in the bar. Just remember to take your NZMCA card with you.

Our parking.

The parking area is huge and all sealed. The power  is a bit awkward as it is all in a bunch of 4 plugs right next to the entrance to the Motorhome parking area so its throw your leads over the fence.

The entrance to the parking area. The power is on the gatepost outside.

Our lead was just long enough to reach but it all works and for $10 a night, a fantastic place to stop. There are also toilets and a shower that can be used too.

We went for walk down to the local Pak N Save for some basics, which is about 20 minutes walk away.

Later in the day, we invited our next door neighbours over for a drink. John and Margaret hail from Masterton and were staying in Wellington.  After a pleasant hour with them, we went into the Petone club for a spectacular tea for $9.50 each and a Sticky Date pudding.. Yum!  All washed down with a huge $7 glass of chardy.. also Yum!

Rafes Track to Petone

A nice spot. Onto the ferry next.

Some new China at the new park.

Some of our china plates that we bought  a few years ago in Oamaru that we use in Rafe, had deteriorated. Fiona had  managed to find some new ones the same sort and colour on Trade Me so on the way south, we had to pick these up in Porirua.

Fiona with some of her China

This time she got a Teapot, 6 of each, cups and saucers, small side plates, bigger side plates, bowls and dinner plates all for $190 !! ..

A panorama of the park when we arrived.

After getting the China, we headed straight for the new Plimmerton NZMCA park and it looks fantastic. There had been a working bee on ealier and it was pretty busy. I counted over 40 Buses and Motorhomes there.

Click on the Images for Hi Res or a Slideshow

Fantastic new Dump Station

The new Dump Station looks great in the middle and its really handy to the Railway Station. A great spot.

We called our son Alex who is currently working in Wellington amnd he popped out for tea. The next morning, we got up early and caught the train into Wellington City. Its an easy walk from the park and only takes 25 minutes and then we walked around to a French cafe for brunch.

Alex met us at the cafe, then we went for a walk around the city. Very pleasant.,

You know you’re in Wellington when you see this.

Alex later dropped us off at Rafe in Plimmerton and stopped for a cup of coffee and then headed home.

When we left !

I’m impressed with this park and have to say, the crew here have done a great job with it. Fiona was keen to stay a third night but as I’d booked an early ferry during the week, I thought we might be better closer in for our last night with the early morning weekday traffic.

A nice park and I’m sure it is going to be well used and enjoyed by many.

Rafes Track to Plimmerton

Roxy Theatre

In Wellington, I received a message from my old friend (and work colleague and Motorhomer) Grant suggesting that we should go and check out the Roxy Theatre in Miramar.

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RoxyAs it was only a few K’s away from our base at Evans Bay, we set out to check it out and it’s a thing of beauty.

Owned jointly by Richard Taylor and Jamie Selkirk of Weta Workshop fame, it is simply stunning.
imageThey’ve owned it for quite a long time but due to their work commitments with the movie industry, they had to put the renovation job on hold until a few years ago.
It was once a shopping centre so it has been a big do up job.

There is a really nice cafe on the ground floor but the decor and attention to detail with old movie cameras, the art and a huge ceiling mural is just stunning.

RoxyIn the middle of Miramar shops, it’s something you must check out.
The Weta cave is at the other end of Park ave, which is also worth visiting too. There is easy Motorhome parking in the surrounding streets so easy to get there.  Thanks Grant for telling us about it.

Evans Bay Marina being reviewed for Motorhomes

Evans Bay Marina 20th sec exposure at 10000 asa!
Evans Bay Marina
20th sec exposure at 10000 asa!

On Sunday morning a chap from Wellington City popped around in the Evans Bay Marina car park, with his clipboard. He was checking the CSC stickers for parking compliance. For those offshore, this is the self containment with black and grey water.

At Evans Bay
At Evans Bay the day before. Close to houses

Gary had a natter to him and he mentioned that the parking area was being reviewed. They’re thinking of moving it “up the “coast” which to me sounds like ‘out of town’.
One if the nice things about Evans Bay is its location and closeness to Wellington City.

Evans Bay Marina
Evans Bay Marina

There is also a dump station, toilets and water and a fantastic view.
I have to say though, Wellington definitely have more than their share of boy racers and people with sirens.
All in all though, it’s a great spot and it would be a real shame to lose it.

Does anyone know what’s happening ?