Category Archives: travel

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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Circumnavigating New Zealand — Arriving Wellington, 2019

“Fern 2” hanging above Te Ngākau Civic Square

Our next destination aboard Majestic Princess was Wellington, into which we arrived on 19 March, 2019 (we would return 10 March 2020, but more on that later in the series). On this trip Ursula and I traveled around on our own, and one of the stops we made this day was to Te Ngākau Civic Square at 101 Wakefield Street, just past the Wellington Central Library, 65 Victoria Street.

Wellington Central Library as seen from Te Ngākau Civic Square

The square itself is a very striking piece of scenic real estate:

Te Ngākau Civic Square

Here at Te Ngākau Civic Square one finds much in the way of art and beauty to photograph and enjoy. This is the “Te Aho a Maui” split pyramid sculpture:

“Te Aho a Maui” split pyramid sculpture, Te Ngākau Civic Square

The pedestrian footbridge adorned with wooden art connects the square with Whairepo Lagoon. This is the “City to Sea bridge“.

“City to Sea” Bridge, Te Ngākau Civic Square

Other works of art include this statue to the Rugby World Cup on the adjacent Jack Ilott Green:

Rugby World Cup statue, Te Ngākau Civic Square

Back on the main square, look up for the Fern 2 sculpture, which just last month was reinstalled of restoration and reinforcement to combat metal fatigue:

“Ferns 2” orb, Te Ngākau Civic Square

If you’re wondering about that intriguing building pictured above in the background, that’s Majestic Centre:

Majestic Centre building

It’s now time to leave behind Te Ngākau Civic Square, for we have a fun bit of public transportation awaiting us for Wednesday’s article. But to get there we’re going to pass a couple of interesting sights along the way. This is Chews Lane:

Chews Lane

And three minutes’ walk north takes us by Plimmer’s Steps, named after John Plimmer, the “Father of Wellington”. Not far from the base of the steps, strolling toward Lambton Quay (formerly Beach Street), is John Plimmer himself, and his dog Fritz:

John Plimmer and his dog Fritz


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Fun Photo Friday — Circumnavigating New Zealand; Christchurch favorites Cashel Street

Coat of Arms New Zealand on the Bridge of Remembrance

A last look at Christchurch:

In the Shadow of the Bride of Remembrance
Ice Cream Mural
A Van Named “Morris”
Remembrance Archway Framing Cashel Street
City Tour

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