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New Zealand Pictures, Part III: Queen Elizabeth Park and the Mungatooks

Continuing on from yesterday's post, I'm proceeding up the Kapiti Coast to Queen Elizabeth Park, which is between Paekakariki and Raumati South. During World War II, it was home to a US Army and Marines camp, and is now the home of the Wellington Tramway Museum. The Museum operates a 2km line and runs preserved Wellington trams (the Wellington network closed in 1964), along with a couple from Brisbane and one from New York.


Me in the door of Wellington tram 239 Me in the door of Wellington tram 239
So here I am standing in the doorway of Wellington tram 239, a Fiducia type. I think this is one of the better photos of me.
Again in the doorway of 239 Again in the doorway of 239
This broader view shows the tram itself; I consider the Fiducia type to be the most attractive tram to run on any New Zealand tramway. It is stopped at the Wellington Tramway Museum's tram stop near the main entrance to Queen Elizabeth Park off State Highway 1. The line unfortunately has no road running like an ordinary tramway would have, though for much of its length, it runs alongside the main park road. I'm just glad the old Wellington trams have a decent length of track to run on, though!
Controls of a Fiducia tram Controls of a Fiducia tram
Tram controls at the "B" end of 239. The controls at the "A" end are the same.
An amusing notice An amusing notice
"Smoking rear of this notice only"? So the smoke knows not to cross an invisible line in the middle of the tram?
Rainbow at Queen Elizabeth Park Rainbow at Queen Elizabeth Park
After being hit by a brief sun shower, this rainbow was visible to the east. The photo is taken from the doorway of 239 across the Museum's platform. In the foreground, work on relaying the tram tracks at the other platform can be seen.
Grandad and 239 at the Whareroa Beach terminus Grandad and 239 at the Whareroa Beach terminus
My Grandad (the grandfather who isn't sick) finally makes an appearance in my photos! Here he is standing in the doorway of 239 at the Whareroa Beach terminus, 2km from the main depot.
Trams 159 and 239 at the Museum's main station Trams 159 and 239 at the Museum's main station
In the foreground is Wellington tram 159 from 1925 and in the background is 239, which dates from 1939. This is viewed from the doorway of the Museum's tram barn.
A notice that amused me in tram 159 A notice that amused me in tram 159
"Children are not permitted to ride in centre compartment unless accompanied by parent or caregiver"! I didn't get the chance to ask if this notice is a recent safety regulation or was tramways policy prior to the closure of the network.
The reason for the notice The reason for the notice
There's a good reason for the warning notice, though. See that bar across the doorway? That is the door. There is nothing else to stop you leaping off 159 when it is in motion.
Interior of tram 159 Interior of tram 159
The interior of 159. The tram is symmetrical, so the enclosed saloon is replicated behind the photo too, hence the name "double saloon tram". The open centre compartment must have been damn cold during Wellington winters!
Controls of tram 159 Controls of tram 159
The controls of 159 are an interesting contrast to those of 239 - and even moreso to the high-tech controls of today's Melbourne trams!
Me at the controls Me at the controls
Me sitting at the controls of 159 at the "A" end. The photo of the controls themselves was from the "B" end but they are the same at both.



Usually, if you want to go from Queen Elizabeth Park to Paraparaumu, you will just drive straight up State Highway 1 past Raumati. However, Grandad and I had already been up that way, so we decided to take the back way through a valley behind Raumati. Waterfall Road leaves State Highway 1 not far north of the Queen Elizabeth Park main entry, and I'd forgotten just how AWFUL that road is. It is effectively a single lane road and it feels like it does an almost never-ending succession of blind curves. I was terrified of another car coming around a corner in the opposite direction, but fortunately nobody did. It then leads onto the wider, nicer Valley Road which goes up to Paraparaumu. Leaving Valley Road is Maungakotukutuku Road, which leads into the Maungakotukutuku Valley, an area I know simply as "the Mungatooks". Yeah, even we think Maungakotukutuku ("Mownga-koh-took-oo-took-oo") is a pain in the arse to pronounce. My mother used to walk and run in the Mungatooks all the time, and in more rugged areas, my uncle did dirt bike racing.


Waterfall Road Waterfall Road
This picture is of probably the easiest, most clear part of Waterfall Road. I wasn't about to hang the camera out the window on the other parts.
Maungakotukutuku Road Maungakotukutuku Road
Running across the foreground is Valley Road; running towards the hills is Maungakotukutuku Road. It curves around to the right of this picture and clambers through some rugged terrain to eventually run north in the valley behind the hills seen in the picture.
A different angle A different angle
This photo looks to the right (the south) of the previous one, showing the surrounding landscape and the road curving away.
Sign by Maungakotukutuku Road Sign by Maungakotukutuku Road
A close-up of the sign at the start of Maungakotukutuku Road, in case its illegibility in the previous photo was taunting anybody. Plus, the landscape behind the sign nicely links what's seen in the above two photos.



Tomorrow: my hometown itself, Raumati Beach!
Tags: 2007 new zealand trip, kapiti coast, maungakotukutuku valley, mungatooks, new zealand, queen elizabeth park, trams, wellington trams, wellington tramway museum
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