Week23 – A Grey Day in Wellington


4 – 10 June ’11

To celebrate the Queen’s birthday, we get a day off from work and school.  We decided a family trip to the capital would be great way to spend the day.  The weather was grey.  We experienced fog, thick fog, cloud, extreme low cloud, mist and a light drizzly rain.  Must be winter…

Wrights Hill

From the web site of the Wrights Hill Fortress Restoration Society Inc:-

Built during World War Two, the Fortress consists of an underground network of tunnels, operation rooms and three gun emplacements. Society members take the public on a one hour long guided tour on Open Days. You can also wander around yourself with the help of a free history pamphlet and map. The experience is fascinating for people of all ages and gives adults and children alike an insight into the measures taken to protect New Zealand during World War Two.

We managed to arrive a little early, not realising that the Open Day didn’t officially start ’til 10am.  But the door was open, and we were invited in as the first visitors of the day.  The volunteers who comprise the Restoration Society were dressed in various period military uniforms, adding to the atmosphere.

Wrights Hill, Wellington

The Open Day programme (Click in photo to enlarge)

Wrights Hill tunnels map, Wellington

Map of Wrights Hill tunnels

It’s rather a maze down there.   All the tunnels and stairs look the same, luckily there are plenty of signs to assist the directionally-challenged, such as myself. We spent two and half hours wandering the passageways and tunnels.  It really is an interesting place to visit.  I’m glad we got there early.  By the time we were ready to leave the crowds were building up, and my does it get noisy in a warren of concrete tunnels filled with yahoo-ing children!

Wrights Hill, Wellington

Wrights Hill tunnels, Wellington underground

Photography in a dimly lit tunnel is …. not easy.  I’d taken my 18-125mm with me, knowing that I would need the wide angle in tight spaces.  However this left me with a max aperture of f/3.5, and the necessity to crank the ISO way up. Even after processing there’s a fair amount of noise.  But I think it suits the old-time subjects, we can pretend it’s film grain  🙂 .

Fort Ballance

Fort Ballance was a coastal artillery battery, built to protect Wellington harbour from the threat of Russian invasion in 1885. It is  located on Point Gordon, above Mahanga Bay.  I am sure that in good weather  it would afford wonderful views around Wellington.  Sadly, there was fog/mist/drizzle when we were there.  All that is left are concrete walls, stairs and gun emplacements.  Every available space is ‘decorated’ with graffiti.  Normally graffiti annoys me but for some reason it seemed fitting up there.  Maybe it was simply because the day was so very gray – the cheery colours of the paint brightened up what would have been a dull and drab scene.

Fort Ballance, Wellington

A decorated stair way, Fort Ballance

Exif
F-Stop                  f/3.8
Exp Time            1/80sec
ISO Speed          ISO-200
Focal Length   18mm 
Fort Ballance, Wellington

Frames within frames, Fort Ballance, Wellington

Exif
F-Stop                  f/3.8
Exp Time            1/80sec
ISO Speed          ISO-320
Focal Length   18mm 

Lunch time rock pooling

After buying some picnic supplies from a shop keeper who seemed about as vibrant as the weather, we drove around to the end of the airport.  We ate ham sandwiches and ginger kisses while watching wet-suited divers fishing in the shallows.  Then we went for a wander around the rock pools to see what we could see as plane after plane took off from the adjacent runway.

An inhabited rock pool

Exif
F-Stop                  f/5.3
Exp Time            1/200sec
ISO Speed          ISO-200
Focal Length   70mm 

Fishing off the pier 

The kids voted to go fishing next – we’d gathered some limpets from the rocks to use as bait.  We drove around to Miramar wharf, a place the Lovely Man and I have visited before.   Plenty of other folk were fishing from the pier, and pulling up some mighty good, pan-sized fish.  Of course they had great big surf casters.

Miramar Wharf, Wellington

Fishing for their supper, the fisher folk of Wellington

Exif
F-Stop                  f/6.3
Exp Time            1/200sec
ISO Speed          ISO-125
Focal Length   125mm 

We have little kid-sized poles that we simply dropped over the side.  Jake  seems to have all the luck whenever we go fishing.  The tally was Jake -4, Lovely Man – 1,  Billy the Kid – 0, Cat – 0, Lisa – 0.  Fishing is always a great way to while away an hour or so.  Even if Billy the Kid declared himself BORED!

Miramar Wharf, Wellington

Fishing from Miramar Wharf

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