Moon over Paekakariki Hill

My son and I took a walk through the Paekakariki Domain this afternoon, which provides a good vantage point from which to view the Paekakariki hills [click here to view map].

These hills rise steeply from the eastern side of the State Highway, creating a dominant backdrop to the town of Paekakariki. Rugged and raw, rather than picturesque, with their wind-gnarled scrub and angular contours, I have always found them alluring. Continue reading

Basin Reserve: how an earthquake turned a lagoon into a cricket ground

The “Basin Reserve” sports ground in central Wellington is a well-known and unavoidable landmark, as a convergence point for four major roads which circle around its perimeter, as well as for fans of “the gentile sport”. However few are likely to be aware of its fascinating environmental history, and how it came to be a sports ground. Continue reading

Waitangi Park – an urban wetland recreated

With its opening in 2006, the 6.5 hectare Waitangi Park, on Wellington’s waterfront [click here to view location], became New Zealand’s largest new urban park in 100 years. Waitangi Park is near the site of the old Waitangi wetland, which was fed by the Waitangi Stream. Rich with eel, fish and shellfish, it was used for centuries by Maori for food gathering, as a source of fresh water, and as a place to launch their canoes (or waka) into the sea. Continue reading