Shooting ducks at an oddly historic wetland

IMG_4199Yesterday, the family and I visited a newly-built bird hide at the wetlands in QEII Park, near Paekakariki (see Paekakariki: perch of the greenĀ parrot). This bird hide differs from the traditional duck-shooter’s “maimai”, in that the only shooting it provides for is with a camera. Continue reading

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

Paekakariki: perch of the green parrot

This signal box on the Paekakariki Railway Station platform tells of an illustrious history of a small coastal town intimately linked with the railway. The railway station dates from 1886 when the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company’s line from Wellington to Longburn was completed. The railway runs alongside the state highway, the Paekakariki to Porirua segment of which was completed nearly four decades before, in 1849. Both transport links run through a narrow corridor of flat land wedged between steep hills to the east and the sea and old dune-lands to the west [click here to view map]. The town itself lies on a narrow band of undulating dune-lands, contributing to its slightly idiosyncratic character; its name, meaning “perch of the kakariki parrot” in Maori, seems particularly apt. Continue reading