adversity Architecture Birds Landscapes Maritime Porirua Tawa

January 28, 2014 … new vantage points

Wasn’t it Christmas just the day before yesterday, and how can January be nearly over?

It’s the last week of the school summer holidays in New Zealand. A little juggling has been happening to assist with the care of our nearest grandchildren, Maggie and Cooper while their parents are at work.  Yesterday, to collect them from their other grandparents, I had to go out to Tawa. I collected them in the part of Tawa to the East of the motorway up in the hills on the ridge that looks down to Central Tawa in the West and the Takapau Valley in the East.

Ferries cross over
The Straitsman (L) and Arahura (R) in the harbour mouth


On the way there I paused before heading up the Ngauranga Gorge to catch this shot of two interisland ferries crossing over near Ward Island in Wellington Harbour. The Bluebridge ferry, Straitsman is on the left, and the much bigger Interisland Line vessel Arahura is inbound on the right. The fuzziness at water level I attribute to wind-blown salt spray.

With a capacity of just 88 prisoners this is the smallest of the three women’s prisons in NZ

Arriving at the entrance to Takapau Valley, I drove up the hill to the ridge and got some views of parts of  Wellington from viewpoints that were new to me. Looking back to the South West, the first thing that caught my eye was a regrettable necessity, the Arohata women’s prison. With a capacity of just 88 inmates, it ranges from minimum to high security. Like me, it was built in 1944. It’s a bleak blot on the landscape, but then so are the crimes that brought its inmates there.

A very green suburb

Looking directly Westward, the centre of Tawa is easy to pick up by the cluster of churches along its main road. Sometimes you need to get to a viewpoint like this to realise how enriched our city is by the trees that make it green.

Coastal hills
Hard to believe that this is adjacent to the city

Indeed swing just a little to the North West, and suddenly we seem to be in some fairly wild-looking hill country. I must find out about those roads that climb the hills.

Porirua City
It looks very benign from up here. Life is a little tougher at street level

Further round to the North again, and there is a view over the centre of Porirua City with its harbour to the right. Whitireia Park is above it, complete with the radio transmission tower, and beyond that the deceptively calm waters of the Tasman Sea.

House sparrows
From the front bedroom

I’ll conclude my efforts of the day with another “sparrows on the flax” shot taken at home as I experiment with other placements and viewpoints near the bird feeder.

What will today bring?