11 January 2014

Round the ragged rocks

This afternoon as Wellington basked in a properly scorching summer's day I took a brisk coast walk from Seatoun south along the cliff path overlooking the harbour entrance (apparently officially named Chaffers Passage, according to the Topo maps), around Point Dorset and back from Breaker Bay through the mysteriously-named Pass of Branta, which sounds like an ideal location for Conan the Barbarian to mercilessly slaughter cowardly brigands. It's been many years since I walked around the coast in this area, and since my last visit an array of trails and information signs have been set up to impart some local history.

First stop is the Wahine Memorial in Churchill Park, with an anchor and chain from the wreck ageing gracefully in the sea air. Then it was up to the headland to admire the view of the harbour entrance and the lighthouses across the channel from the site of Oruaiti Pa, a palisaded village that was one of 10 pa sites on the Miramar peninsula. Further around the track there are plenty of old gun emplacement and observation posts left over from bursts of defensive construction before World War 1 and during World War 2. Rounding Point Dorset and overlooking the broad grey sand of beautiful Breaker Bay, I was mildly startled to notice a couple sunbathing sans kit in the distance down on the beach. Nude sunbathing in Wellington: now I've seen everything! (So to speak). It goes without saying that they mustn't be locals.

Wahine Memorial
Hector St statue (HDR)
Channel near Steeple Rock
Fort Dorset observation post interior (c.1910?, HDR)
Breaker Bay panorama (click to enlarge)
Gun fittings, Fort Dorset
Pencarrow (fore) and Baring Head (rear) lighthouses 
Eve, Flax & Reef Bays, and Palmer Head

See also:
Blog: The creatures beyond the Devil's Gate, 25 May 2013
Blog: Highbury to south coast walk, 17 February 2013
HistoryIn fear of the Tsar's navy, 5 November 2011
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