July 11th, 2007

New Zealand

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.

Collapse )

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.

Collapse )

Tomorrow: my hometown itself, Raumati Beach!