Image of the face of "Solace of the Wind", a sculpture produced by Max Patte in 2008  which leans into the face of the prevailing wind of Wellington Harbour, while presenting an image of peace and calm.

A photo of the wellington Waterfront, with the Central City behind, taken from Mt Victoria. Wellington at Dawn Armbrust : wikimedia [Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0)]

Wellington's Shed 22 is a historical building, constructed originally as a waterfront warehouse during Wellingtons early days, and is now the location of the popular Mac's BrewBar.

The Te Wharewaka Tapere function centre was opened in 2011 providing five differing function areas, and also contains three traditional Maori Waka on display, and waka harbour tours are available, along with Maori walking tours of the city.

yachting on Wellingtons Harbour can be an exciting experience with sudden sqalls coming into through Cook Strait

The new apartments on Clyde Quay Wharf has brought more people to the waterfront and continues the redevelopment of the Wellington Waterfront

Wellington : An Unbeatable Destination on its Day.

Whairepo Lagoon  is nested beside Jervois Quay and provides a launching bay for both the Star Boating club and Wellington Rowing Club, as well as events such as the Wellington Dragon Boat Festival, but importantly provides a great recreation area along Wellingtons Waterfront walk

The Micheal Fowler accessway provides a connection between Central Wellington , the Micheal Fowler Centre and the Waterfront Walk

Wellington as a tourist destination comes as a mixed bag often decried for its windy weather that is channelled into the harbour area by the funnelling effect of cook strait. However, there is no denying that Wellington on a calm sunny day is unbeatable, with a waterfront that is full of interest, an abundant history, and great attractions for visitors.

Its midway location has ensured it a prominence in New Zealand that it might not have attained otherwise. Constrained by difficult geography and erratic weather, it has developed into a city that on its day presents itself as a foremost destination. A potpourri of buildings, community areas and cultural centres, it has a personality and soul that is absent in many notable global cities. Sense of its urban landscape has been made through the continuing redevelopment along its harbour perimeter. On a calm sunny day, Wellington provides one of those magical experiences that travellers look forward to. Having a substantial depth of things to see and do, several days are needed to explore it properly. However, it’s location adjacent to cook strait ensures that it experiences significant wind (windy Wellington), and for visitors, its turbulent weather can impact their visit and take the gloss off their time there.

Central Wellington's Identity and Soul.

Wellingtons Waterfront walk begins near to Queens Wharf and continues along to Te Papa and onto Oriental Bay, taking about an hour but can be enjoyed over a full morning or afternoon, and is an iconic walk on a still sunny day.

The Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa is arguably one of the finest Museum's in the world and presents history in a unique and interactive way.

Central Wellington is located on a very narrow strip of land situated adjacent to an attractive harbour that is blessed with a north-western outlook. Not far from its coastal reaches, the topography changes and a steep backdrop of hills ensures that the CBD is a tight conglomerate of buildings stretched along its coastal fringes. Fast-forwarding to the present, Wellington offers visitors an eclectic mix of things to do, all in walkable distances of most of its main traveller accommodation.

Possessing significant New Zealand history and culture, it displays an identity that very few cities achieve. Being the centre of governance for the country also helps, and has ensured that the jewel in the crown, New Zealand’s National Museum Te Papa has been located there and has developed into an internationally acclaimed cultural depository. The progressive city fathers recognised that its urban fabric needed something to connect its diverse areas together and commenced redevelopment of its waterfront area not long after notable tourist destinations such as Copenhagen in Denmark, San Sebastian in Spain, and San Francisco in USA, amongst many others. Commiserate with its desire to present itself as a vibrant and exciting city, it holds a wide range of cultural, sporting and entertainment events.

The sense of history that is incorporated in Wellingtons historic waterfront buildings has imbued the waterfront with a unique atmosphere

The sculpture "Solace of the Wind" by Max Patte has become an iconic landmark along Wellington's  waterfront, and is a must see when walking along Wellington's waterfront walk.

The Heart of Wellington is its Waterfront.

The Boat sheds in Clyde Quay Boat Harbour, oriental bay, wellington provide visual ambience for visitors going along Wellingtons Waterfront walk, as well as their main function for Wellington boaties.

Padlocks adorn the footbridge that crosses Frank Kitts Lagoon along Wellingtons waterfront and follow the tradition of "Love-Locks" started in France on the Pont des Arts and Pont de l'Archeveche.

Wellington’s heart lies in its waterfront, a stretch of approximately three kilometres that is constantly being developed and presently extends from Westpac Stadium located adjacent to the main railway and working dock area, through to the coastal walkway along Oriental Bay. Perhaps the city is best summed up in the words of Patricia Grace, a well known and respected Wellingtonian writer from her quote on the “Wellington writers walk”. The walk itself is a themed journey along the waterfront where walkers get to see the notable features along the coast, as well as and smaller and perhaps more interesting side bits.

I love this city, the hills, the harbour the wind that blasts through it. I love the life and pulse and activity, and the warm decrepitude…there’s always an edge here that one must walk which is sharp and precarious, requiring vigilance.

Patricia Grace, Cousins (1992)

Wellington's Waterfront - A History.

Early Map of Wellington District from Archives New Zealand that shows a number of important historical sites, Maori Pas, paths and pre 1840 battle sites, prepared from information supplied by Elsdon Best Esq and H.N.McLeod Esq.Early Map of the Wellington region Cropped from Archives New Zealand - Early Map of Wellington - Wellington County District : wikimedia [Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0)]

View over Wellington Harbour in 1885 showing early development. Elevated view of Central Wellington and Harbour 1885 Wellington City Council Archive : Flickr [Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0)]

Photo of Queens Wharf in 1887, showing the extent of Mercantile shipping that was carried out in Wellingtons early days.Queens Wharf 1887 Wellington City Council Archive : Flickr [Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0)]

Present Day Boats moored alongside the Clyde Quay Wharf, carrying on the traditions of Wellingtons association with the sea.

Wellington itself enjoyed waves of Pre-European settlement with many hillsides providing ideal sites for the construction of Maori Pa’s, and different tribes established coastal and strategic sites in the region. European settlement began from 1840 and the landscape was considerably altered by a massive earthquake in 1855 which was felt as far away as Canterbury. This seismic activity raised significant parts of the coastline by 1.5 metres and shore platforms, not in existence previously appeared from nowhere. With a number of major seismic faults running through the city, Wellington is considered to be long overdue for another significant event, and Wellingtonians have developed a laissez-faire attitude to life as a consequence.

Notably perhaps, much of the Wellington waterfront is located on reclaimed land, occurring from inadequate town planning that allocated insufficient space to public buildings and spaces. Likely this was exasperated by its elevation to New Zealand’s capital in 1865, and by the end of the 1870’s over 70 acres of land had be reclaimed by National, provincial Governments, along with the Local City Council. Reclamation continued to service Harbour Board and Railway needs, with major seawall constructions almost along the breadth of the Wellington foreshore. The Lambton Harbour shoreline has been so drastically altered that the historic places trust has placed 14 plaques around the waterfront so that its Pre-European position can be discerned.

With the introduction of Containerised shipping, much of the waterfront fell into disuse and quickly became an industrial wasteland. Forever innovative, a development company was formed by the partnership of the City Council and Harbour Board, that commenced the development of the waterfront into the exceptional recreational and service facility that provides for both local residents and visiting tourists alike. The continuing development of the waterfront remains a model of transformation that other New Zealand cities such as Auckland are using as their own templates of redevelopment.

Map showing the extensive reclamation that has occurred along the Wellington Waterfront commencing with its initial seawall in 1857, right through to the last major work carried out around 1970.Early Map of the Wellington region Reclamation Map of Wellington Waterfront :

Chinese New Year : Dragon Boat Racing in Wellington(Personal Narrative).

Photograph of Dragon Boat racing at Wellington's  Dragon Boat Festival in Wellington Harbour during Chinese New Year Celebrations.

Close up of participants in Wellingtons Dragon boat Festival in Wellington Harbour.

Showcasing the Corvette Exhibition located outside Wellington's TSB Stadium during Chinese new Year Celebrations.

Wellington Dragon Boat Festival.

Its been a while since I walked the waterfront precinct. It's a fairly normal day, quite warm and sunny on which just happens to be the same weekend as the Chinese New Year celebrations in March. Walking towards the northern end near to the TSB Arena I’m immediately struck by a crowd cheering on the dragon boat races adjacent to the harbourside. It appears that there is a dragon boat race going on quite a windy day.The Wellington Dragon Boat Festival occurs of two days with the Saturday largely being a fun day, while the serious racing occurs on the Sunday with over 40 Adult and 30 schools from New Zealand and Australia compete within the various social and competitive categories.

Dragon boat crews assembled and climbed into their boats within the small lagoon area traditionally used by the two rowing clubs, and paddling out into the habour, they took their place at the far end of the wharf area adjacent to Shed 6. The dragon boats assembled in heats of four, and traversed the 300 metres fairly quickly, despite a choppy sea whipped up by a gusty Wellington wind. None of the crews seemed to mind and the whole event was carried off in good humour by both the crews and spectators.

Wellington Corvette Car Display.

Situated near to the start line of the dragon boat races, outside of the main entrance of the TSB arena, around 30-40 Corvettes are congregated, all in pristine condition and spanning the many years that the car has been in production. While some owners turned out because of an intense love of their vehicle, for others it was a part of a larger tour around New Zealand, both to see the country and to participate in a road trip.

Article References

Wellington City Council. (n.d.). History of Wellington

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