Axver (axver) wrote,
Axver
axver

  • Music:

Last Saturday's story and pictures

So, after my 21st birthday that I wrote about yesterday, I flew to New Zealand. Wellington, to be precise. It's always nice flying into Wellington. Well, I suppose it isn't always nice in terms of the ride you get, as the airport is right on the Cook Strait and the weather conditions there can often be unpredictable and unpleasant, but the day I flew in, it was absolutely gorgeous, and I mean it's always nice in that I'm coming home. Not a whole lot happened on the evening of the 18th. My father and I watched the Australia vs India cricket and had a barbecue for dinner. I was staying in Papakowhai, which is about 25 minutes north of Wellington, and it has great views over the Porirua Harbour's southern arm. So I took photos.


Porirua Harbour from Papakowhai Porirua Harbour from Papakowhai
This view is looking roughly south from Papakowhai over the harbour's southern arm. Porirua itself is at the far end of the harbour.
EM class unit alongside Porirua Harbour EM class unit alongside Porirua Harbour
And here's why I really like the view: you can see the North Island Main Trunk Railway alongside the harbour! In this picture, two EM/ET class electric multiple units are paired together for a northbound service to Paraparaumu.



The next day, I had arranged to meet my Grandad and uncle Tony (one of my mother's younger brothers). Grandad was meeting us in Paraparaumu on the Kapiti Coast, where I grew up; Tony was catching the train up from Wellington and I met him aboard the train at Paremata station, which is a short walk from Papakowhai. When the three of us went to lunch, we met up with my cousin Jeff, Grandad's nephew (though he was raised as Grandad's brother - it's a long story).


Porirua Harbour in the morning Porirua Harbour in the morning
Before I left for the railway station, I took this photo of Porirua Harbour. I prefer the colouring of the morning.
Brora Crescent in Papakowhai Brora Crescent in Papakowhai
So, I walked off to the railway station with camera in hand. This is looking down Brora Crescent in Papakowhai. It's a bit steep.
Porirua Harbour from the lower end of Brora Crescent Porirua Harbour from the lower end of Brora Crescent
Looking across the intersection of Brora Crescent and Papakowhai Road to Porirua Harbour. I turned right and followed Papakowhai Road for a couple of minutes to Paremata and crossed the overbridge to the railway station, from which the next three photos are taken.
Crowded highway, eh Crowded highway, eh
State Highway 1 is clearly chocka-block on Saturday mornings through Paremata!

And yes, this really is the most important road in New Zealand, just north of the capital city. I'm sure it looks tiny to those of you from ... anywhere else.
Paremata Railway Station Paremata Railway Station
Looking north from the State Highway 1 overbridge to Paremata Railway Station. A southbound EM/ET class unit for Wellington is arriving at the station. In the background can be seen the northern arm of the Porirua Harbour, the Pauatahanui Inlet.
EM class unit at Paremata station EM class unit at Paremata station
The EM/ET class unit seen above departs Paremata station with the Pauatahanui Inlet in the background.
Splitting a harbour in two Splitting a harbour in two
The entry to Porirua Harbour, seen from Paremata Railway Station. The arm leaving on the left is the southern arm; in the middle is the way out to sea past Plimmerton; the arm leaving on the right is the Pauatahanui Inlet.
Boats moored on Porirua Harbour Boats moored on Porirua Harbour
I don't just photograph trains! Here, a number of boats are seen moored at the entrance to Porirua Harbour's southern arm on the opposite side to Paremata Railway Station.
Paraparaumu train arriving at Paremata Paraparaumu train arriving at Paremata
My train to the Kapiti Coast arrives! It is 10:29am, so a few minutes late, and it is yet another EM/ET class electric multiple unit.




Wharemauku Stream at Raumati Beach Wharemauku Stream at Raumati Beach
After arriving at Paraparaumu station, we drove by my old house in Raumati Beach and then proceeded to the beach itself, where we planned to meet Jeff before proceeding to somewhere for lunch. This picture is of the footbridge over Wharemauku Stream near its mouth on the Rauoterangi Channel of the Tasman Sea. I have really fond memories of playing around here as a child, building sandcastles by the river and whatnot.
Tony and I at Raumati Beach Tony and I at Raumati Beach
Uncle Tony and I standing on the bank of the Wharemauku Stream with Kapiti Island in the background across the Rauoterangi Channel.
Grandad and I at Raumati Beach Grandad and I at Raumati Beach
Grandad and I on the bank of the Wharemauku Stream with the southern tip of Kapiti Island visible behind us.
Grandad and Tony at Raumati Beach Grandad and Tony at Raumati Beach
Grandad and uncle Tony with the beach and Kapiti Island in the background.
Kapiti Island from Raumati Beach Kapiti Island from Raumati Beach
I tried to get all of Kapiti Island into one shot, but from the level of the beach, this was the best I could do as I don't have a wide lens. We then went up behind the beach to the top of a little knoll. I should have gotten better shots from there but I'm unhappy with them!
Kapiti Island and I Kapiti Island and I
So with my attempts to take a photo of all of Kapiti Island from the top of the knoll not really working out to my satisfaction, I got Grandad to take this photo of me with Raumati Beach and Kapiti Island. The buildings below the knoll are the Raumati Beach public pools and some kind of eating establishment.
Marine Gardens, I Marine Gardens, I
Looking down a path in Marine Gardens. This particular path leads behind the position of the photograph to the top of the small knoll overlooking the beach.
Marine Gardens, II Marine Gardens, II
Passing through Marine Gardens between the carpark beside the Wharemauku's mouth and the main part of the park.
Ride-on train in Marine Gardens Ride-on train in Marine Gardens
Guess what! Axver found MORE trains! Miniature ride-on ones this time. When I was about five, this was my favourite thing in the world. I'm so happy to see it's still going, and has been expanded since my youth. Here a live steam locomotive passes over a little viaduct.
Tony, Jeff, and Grandad at Paraparaumu Beach Tony, Jeff, and Grandad at Paraparaumu Beach
We then met up with Jeff and went to Paraparaumu Beach to eat at a place across from the beach. Once we finished lunch, we made our way over the road and took this photo and the following two with Kapiti Island in the background. The titles give who's in the photo from left to right. I think these three photos all do a good job of showing a family resemblance!
Tony, Jeff, and I at Paraparaumu Beach Tony, Jeff, and I at Paraparaumu Beach
Tony, Grandad, and I at Paraparaumu Beach Tony, Grandad, and I at Paraparaumu Beach
Kapiti Island as seen from Raumati South Kapiti Island as seen from Raumati South
I finally got all of Kapiti Island in a photo that I don't consider unsatisfactory! OK, so it's on a slight angle but otherwise, I'm happy with it. This was taken from Raumati South. After lunch, we'd gone for a bit of a drive before Tony and I had to catch the train back south.
EM class unit arriving at Paraparaumu station EM class unit arriving at Paraparaumu station
We got to Paraparaumu station just in time for me to photograph the 2pm EM/ET class electric multiple unit from Wellington arriving at Paraparaumu just before 3pm. This unit then formed the return service that Tony and I caught.
Interior of an EM class unit Interior of an EM class unit
Here's the interior of an EM class unit, showing the narrow loading gauge (though perhaps not terribly well). New Zealand's track gauge is only 3'6", and just to make things worse, narrow tunnels limit the height and width of carriages even further. When you're used to Melbourne's trams (track gauge 4'8.5") and trains (track gauge 5'3"), it's remarkable just how small the Kiwi trains feel in comparison. I like them though.
Tony aboard the train Tony aboard the train
Tony and I were sitting around waiting for the train to go, so I took this picture of him.
Me aboard the train Me aboard the train
And then got him to take this one of me. I think it's one of the best of me from the entire trip.



So after that, I returned to Dad's place and we had a birthday dinner - only a little one at home, as circumstances had conspired and nobody was really around. But afterwards we got out the 1987 wines that I wrote about earlier and watched Australia suck at cricket. That was all very, very good. Tomorrow, I will move on to the trip to Nelson.

While I was out and about on Saturday, I took a stack of photos of just ordinary scenes and streets in Paraparaumu Beach, Raumati Beach, Raumati South, Paremata, and Papakowhai. If I could say I have a photographic style developing - and I'm not sure that I do - it's that I prefer to take pictures simply of the mundane and everyday stuff. I often find it's actually more interesting than what are supposedly the interesting attractions you're "meant" to photograph. Certainly when I look at photos from Wellington in 1900, I'm most interested in the "everyday" shots, just to see how things have changed. I also think these "everyday" shots give an outside viewer a good sense of what the place really feels like, as opposed to the false impression that might be created simply by photos of "interesting" attractions. My photographic abilities may be appallingly lacking - but then again, it gives the amateur and everyday perspective both in terms of what's seen in the shot and how the shot is taken itself.

Or maybe I'm just trying to justify the fact I'm a shit photographer who's a bit too camera-happy and finds boring old towns and geography fascinating. I'll share the photos in the coming days and you can be the judge.
Tags: kapiti coast, kapiti island, new zealand, new zealand trains, papakowhai, paraparaumu beach, paremata, photos, raumati beach, raumati south, trains
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 5 comments