December 6, 2023 The Backside of Wellington (Day 70)

The title could also be “159 Steps” or “What Happens When You Catch the Wrong Bus”! We were heading to Seatoun, just to see the town, a suburb of Wellington on the east side of the Miramar peninsula that sticks out into Wellington Harbour. We ended up in Miramar, in the center of the peninsula. We decided to head to a green area on the map, hoping for some views over the water. We ended up climbing 159 steps to a walkway overlooking Evans Bay where we could see the backside of Wellington!

Looking out over Evans Bay towards the suburb of Oriental Bay. Wellington town centre is over the hill.

Abandoning our quest to see Seatoun we walked down from the heights on residential roads to catch a bus to Moa Point at the south end of the peninsula, hoping for a view out over Cook Strait and a quiet place on the water to have our picnic lunch. The bus stopped above Moa Point and we had a trail to follow down the hill. As we emerged from the overgrown woods we discovered we were overlooking the end of the Wellington Airport runway and the Wellington Wastewater Treatment plant!

The airport takes up the isthmus that connects Miramar peninsula to the mainland. Evans Bay is on the right (circled in red) and Lyall Bay is on the left (circled in green).

We continued down to sea level and walked on the road around to Moa Point and were not disappointed! We had a great view over Lyall Bay out to Cook Strait, with the mountains of the south island in the distance, one even snowcapped!There is a little park at the point, but rather unkempt and weedy.

This stone bench however, made a great table for our picnic lunch!

As we ate our lunch, holding everything down because it was pretty windy, we watched several planes land, and a few take off, and a ferry passing the entrance to Lyall Bay on their way across Cook Strait. We also spotted a pod of dolphins porpoising through the water of the bay! After lunch we had to walk about 2 km on the road between the airport and a golf course to our return bus stop. We decided to pop into the airport to check it out.

Overhanging the holiday decor and Christmas tree displays was this enormous golden eagle and rider. A reference to Lord of the Rings, filmed in places in NZ. Although I don’t remember any giant eagles in the books!

We also took advantage of the free chocolate samples at a kiosk in the airport! We managed to get the correct bus back to the car park, and got home safely! Not a bad adventure for a day that started out with an accidental bus ride!

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