Circumnavigating New Zealand — Wellington Cable Car


Wellington Cable Car (funicular) model

Another three minutes’ stroll north along Lambton Quay from Plimmer Steps (see Monday’s article) gets us to our next stop, the Wellington Cable Car. Despite the misnomer, this is in fact a funicular.

Wellington Cable Car entrance on Lambton Quay

So in we go to purchase our tickets for a must-do experience if you’re ever in Wellington. After a somewhat brief wait in line, we arrive to the lower station, which is quite colorful in its own right:

Wellington Cable Car station

Here you can see people loading into the car we missed while waiting in line:

Wellington Cable Car (funicular)

And off she goes without us, disappearing into a tunnel:

Wellington Cable Car (funicular)

At the top of the ride much awaits us, but first we’re headed into the Wellington Cable Car Museum for a bit of history starting with Grip Car No. 3 from the early 1900s:

Grip Car No. 3, (early 1900s) Cable Car Museum

Nearby is The Relentless Red Rattler, which ran on this line from the 1950s until well into the 1970s:

The Red Rattler

As you can see, the Relentless Red Rattle is far from the comfort of today’s train. In this photo you can see that the open exposed side seating is inclined to take into account the pitch at which this funicular ascends and descends along the tracks:

The Relentless Red Rattler (1950s to late 1970s)

And, yes, you can climb aboard for a shot:

Ursula posing on the “Relentless Red Rattler”, Cable Car Museum

But we’re far from done here atop this hill in the suburb of Kelburn. Much awaits us, including a World War I-era Krupp artillery gun and the spectacular Wellington Botanical Garden. That all starts next week, but here’s a bronze relief map of where we were:

Top of the hill

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