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New Zealand Pictures, Part II: Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki



Kapiti Island, viewed from Raumati Beach on the other side of the Rauoterangi Channel.



After yesterday's photos of Tasman Bay, today I'd like to start on the Kapiti Coast, where I come from. I specifically grew up in Raumati Beach, but I'll go from the south and work my way northwards. Pukerua Bay is the southernmost town on the Kapiti Coast and home of Peter Jackson. Paekakariki is just up the coast and its primary reason for existing was a railway depot, though this has become less important in recent decades. It is really a small village whose expansion is geographically prohibited, and visiting it is like stepping back into 1970s New Zealand. Those of you in the rugby world may know Paekakariki best as the home of the "Paekakariki Express", Christian Cullen.


Location of Kapiti Coast Location of Kapiti Coast
The Kapiti Coast is situated on the North Island of New Zealand, roughly an hour north of Wellington on the west coast. It is named after Kapiti Island, which is separated from the North Island by the Rauoterangi Channel. This map rather unfortunately chops Pukerua Bay off the very bottom.




Pukerua Bay looking east Pukerua Bay looking east
This photo is taken looking east across Pukerua Bay to the hills that run alongside the eastern edge of the town. I took it out the window of my great-uncle's lounge.
Pukerua Bay from SH1 Pukerua Bay from SH1
Looking south towards Pukerua Bay from the route of State Highway 1 as it descends to Paekakariki. I think this is one of the best photos I took.
Pukerua Bay and Mana Island from Raumati Pukerua Bay and Mana Island from Raumati
Looking south from Raumati Beach to Pukerua Bay in the distance. Mana Island can be seen to the right. It is much smaller and flatter than Kapiti Island and is best viewed further south from Plimmerton.




Paekakariki station sign Paekakariki station sign
Paekakariki, as I said, was originally a railway town. You can guess what I went to visit there.
US Marines display in station museum US Marines display in station museum
In World War II, the US Army and Marines had a base at Queen Elizabeth Park between Paekakariki and Raumati South. Inside the Paekakariki station building is a local museum and one room contains all kinds of memorabilia related to the camp.
Tangiwai disaster display in station museum Tangiwai disaster display in station museum
Another room in the Paekakariki station building contains a memorial to the 1953 Tangiwai disaster, when a lahar washed out a railway bridge just before the Wellington to Auckland express crossed it. 151 died; my Grandpa was one of the few survivors from the second class carriages.
Paekakariki signal box Paekakariki signal box
Once left derelict, the Paekakariki signal box is now being restored. I can't wait until it's done. It already looks much better than it did.
Controls of Ja 1271 Controls of Ja 1271
After visiting the station museum, we went to Steam Incorporated, a railway preservation society based in the Paekakariki station yard. This photo is of the controls inside the cab of JA 1271, one of the last steam locomotives built for New Zealand. The Wikipedia JA class page has a great photo of this very locomotive in action on a Steam Inc. excursion with the classic New Zealand red carriages. Speaking of which ...
Classic red carriages! Classic red carriages!
Three preserved passenger carriages in Steam Inc.'s yard. These carriages are regularly used for enthusiast excursions. I'm not sure precisely which carriages they are, but the two in the foreground would be 1920s or earlier, while the third down the end is a vestibule carriage that would be from 1930 or later. I wish I had a closer shot of the third one as I consider it to be the definitive classic carriage, but two of its type can be seen clearly as the two lead carriages of the train on the previously linked Wikipedia page.
Me on a red carriage Me on a red carriage
I think the title is self-explanatory here.
Me on the Paekakariki turntable Me on the Paekakariki turntable
The turntable is still used by Steam Inc. and is located at the north end of the yard. Further behind it, as seen to the left in the picture behind me, is the preserved water tower, which is used by the steam locomotives.



In the next entry, I'll head north to Queen Elizabeth Park and the Mungatooks.
Tags: 2007 new zealand trip, kapiti coast, kapiti island, new zealand, nzr, paekakariki, photos, pukerua bay, railways, steam inc., trains
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