Wellington Off The Beaten Path

  • Look for plaques.
    Look for plaques.
    by craic
  • Shopping!
    Shopping!
    by craic
  • Canopy Walkway to the Visitor Centre.
    Canopy Walkway to the Visitor Centre.
    by Kakapo2

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Wellington

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    St. Mary of the Angels: Windows from Germany

    by Kakapo2 Updated Apr 16, 2008

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    Already the third church on the site.

    This impressive Catholic church, towering at an elevated position over the city, stands on reclaimed land in Boulcott Street and is the place of worship of a small parish (Te Aro) in the CBD. It is already the third church on this site. The first one was built in 1843, three years after the arrival of the first ships of the New Zealand Company. The second and already more impressive one was erected in 1873 but destroyed by a fire in 1918.

    In the hard times after the First World War construction of the church you see today started in 1920 and took until 1922. It was blessed on 26 March 1922. The architect was Frederick de Jersey Clere. It was the first neo-gothic style building that was constructed from reinforced concrete, and is a double steepled church, the spires looking a bit like those of Notre Dame in Paris, just to get an idea of the style.

    Thanks to a major exterior refurbishment, completed in November 2004, the church is a striking beauty of the city centre. One of its major features are the beautiful stained glass windows, many of them coming from Germany. They were constructed in the famous foundry of F.X. Zettler in Munich. On some of them you can read this name at eye level. BTW Also The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Christchurch has stained glass windows of this maker.

    The parishioners of St. Mary of the Angels are Marists, followers of the Society of Mary that was founded in Lyon (France) by Jean-Claude Colin. The first Marists to leave France came to the South Pacific and were based in New Zealand. They arrived in 1838, and were present at the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

    Mass hours:
    Mon – Fri 7.30am, 12.05pm, 5.15pm
    Sat 11am
    Sunday 7am, 9am, 11am, 5pm

    Address: 17 Boulcott Street, Wellington

    Email: office@stmaryoftheangels.wellington.net.nz

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

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    St. Paul’s: The most important Anglican Cathedral

    by Kakapo2 Updated Apr 16, 2008

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    St. Paul's features pink highrise towers.

    Wellington’s most important Anglican cathedral is the (new) Cathedral of St. Paul, with modern stained glass windows, and the Lady Chapel, built from rimu wood. It is not far away from Old St. Paul’s and Parliament, at the corner of Molesworth and Hill Streets.

    It is open Mon – Fri 8.30am – 5pm, Sat 10am – 4pm, Sunday services 8am, 10am, 5pm.

    This is a modern church which could not be more different to Old St. Paul’s. With very few exceptions, I am no big fan of modern churches, and the exterior of this pink monster does not do anything for me. It looks a bit like Manhattan for the poor. If there was no holy cross on each of the two differently shaped and high towers you would not think those blocks are home of a church, and even an important cathedral. More like two attempts of building the sister towers of Christchurch’s hotel Grand Chancellor.

    Queen Elizabeth II lay the foundation stone in 1954 but the construction was only fully completed in 1998. However, already in 1964 it took over the ecclesiastical function from the now Old St. Paul’s Cathedral. They call the slightly kitschy style of the new cathedral a mixture of Byzantine and Santa Fé. It was designed by Cecil Wood from Christchurch.

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    Old St. Paul’s – How fabulous People Saved it

    by Kakapo2 Updated Apr 16, 2008

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    Inside the beautiful church.

    When the Anglican Church gave up the now Old St. Paul’s Cathedral as its parish church and inaugurated the new – now St. Paul’s – cathedral, they did not treat the beautiful building that had served them for nearly 100 years in a very honourable way.

    The diocese tried to demolish the church, but strong protests by a small group captured big support. So in 1967, three years after the ecclesiatical function had been transferred to the new cathedral, the Government purchased Old St. Paul’s and vested it in the NZ Historic Places Trust. It is supported by the Friends of Old St. Paul’s Society – a great bunch of people, as we could see.

    Directions:
    2 minutes walk from Parliament Buildings. From Molesworth St turn into Aitken Street, then left into Mulgrave Street, church on the right after about 100 metres.

    By bus: City Circular stops in front of the church, or: 3 min walk from the Railway Station, 5 min from Lambton Quay.

    Address: 34 Mulgrave Street

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    Old St. Paul’s: As romantic as a Church can Be

    by Kakapo2 Updated Apr 16, 2008

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    A white timber dream church.
    1 more image

    This beautiful white timber church is the former Cathedral Church of St. Paul, located in Mulgrave Street, and named Old St. Paul’s to distinguish it from the new Anglican cathedral in Molesworth Street.

    Although it is no longer a parish church, it is still a consecrated building. It is non-denominational and used extensively for weddings and other services, as well as concerts and cultural events.

    Already if you only look at it from the outside you know why so many people want to marry there. It is synonym of romantic. Small, old, framed by huge old trees, a cosy courtyard. Well, and inside… The romantic feeling goes on. Stained glass windows, dark wooden seats, a beautiful pulpit carved of English oak, a brass lectern (that holds the bible) in the shape of an eagle with outstretched wings, wooden pillars, colourful flags, etc.

    If you really want to have a look inside best is to visit during the week. It took me two days until I could finally have a look around, as every time I went there a wedding was just going to happen, or was just going on. When I was successful a wedding was just over – and I could watch the bellringers in action. Wonderful!

    The original bells – as well as the original organ – were relocated to the new cathedral.

    Old St. Paul’s is a brilliant example of 19th century Gothic Revival architecture. It was designed by the Reverend Frederick Thatcher, then vicar of this first Anglican cathedral of Wellington.
    It was constructed in 1865/66 entirely from native timbers (kauri, matai, rimu, totara), and consecrated on 6 June 1866. For 98 years it was the parish church of the suburb of Thorndon and the cathedral church of Wellington.

    Read the end of the history here

    You can hire the church for your wedding!

    Open daily 10am – 5pm (except Good Friday and Christmas Day), and also closed during private functions.

    Guided tours possible, admission free, donations welcome.

    Directions:
    2 minutes walk from Parliament Buildings. From Molesworth St turn into Aitken Street, then left into Mulgrave Street, church on the right after about 100 metres.

    By bus: City Circular stops in front of the church, or: 3 min walk from the Railway Station, 5 min from Lambton Quay.

    Address: 34 Mulgrave Street

    Photo 2 is a detail of the pulpit.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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    Palliser Beach - Southernmost point on North Isl.

    by hethbill Updated Nov 24, 2007

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    Palliser Beach
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    Palliser Beach is definitely not one of the more well visited places on North Island- inhabited by more sea lions than people with a lighthouse up on a bluff. The whole area makes for some great photographs and a quiet relaxing afternoon.

    If you look on a map east of Wellington, you'll see there's only one road that goes out there, and it dead-ends at Palliser so it's easy to find.

    Related to:
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    Enjoy the artwork

    by eMeReS Updated Aug 24, 2007
    Anton Parsons
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    One of the things that I noticed while in Wellington was that there was a lot of artwork around. Although not all were to my taste it was wonderful to see so many expressions of creativity in the streets.

    On the website of the Wellington Sculpture Trust you'll find information on a number of the larger sculptures, including their location, so you can actively seek them out. Or you can just enjoy the ones you happen to come across while roaming the city.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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    Scenic drive to Palliser Bay

    by vtveen Updated Jun 3, 2006

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    Palliser Bay

    Leave Wellington and take SH 2 over the Rimutaka Range. Through Featherston and Martinborough you will reach Palliser Bay in about 1½ hour.

    Enjoy the scenic drive, the quietness, lots of seals along the road, the Putangirua Pinnacles and the lighthouse at Cape Pallisser.

    For much more tips and pics see my Wairarapa page.

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    Marine Drive Tour

    by vtveen Written Mar 31, 2006

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    Island Bay (with the South Island mountains)

    A really nice half-day 'off the beaten' drive. It is no longer than 30 km's, but is one of the most beautiful and varied coastal roads in New Zealand we have seen.

    Starting point is the city centre/Te Papa Museum and we just followed the coastline. Starting with Oriental Bay we passed several small coves and sandy beaches. We enjoyed the views over the harbour and Cook Strait, seeing the ferries sailing in and out. We even could see the snowy mountains of South Island.

    On the other side of the road there are wooden houses built on impossible places against the hills of Wellington. At Breaker Bay we just saw the sign for crossing penguins (not the penguins). Further on is Lyall Bay, very close to the runway of the airport. We finished our drive at Island Bay and returned to our accommodation Buckley Homestay in Melrose (see accommodation tip).

    Back to downtown Wellingtion via the Happy Valley Road.
    At Island Bay starts the so called Red Rocks Coastal Walk (4 km) to Owhiro Bay with a seal colony.

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    Makara

    by salisbury3933 Written Mar 10, 2006
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    It's a pleasant drive from Wellington out through the suburb of Karori to Wellington's wild west coast at Makara.

    The coastline is beautiful but rugged, there are some good walks around the coastline with gun emplacements and an old Maori pa (fortress) site.

    There's also a nice cafe at Makara beach as well.

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    NZ Fur Seals @ Red Rocks

    by wkcsmt Written Feb 22, 2005

    Visit Owhiro Bay, the wild south coastline of Wellington... Red Rocks and its surrounding reserve are of national significance with fascinating geology & Maori history. The reserve is within Te Kopahau Reserve. Red Rocks was formed 200 million years ago during submarine volcanic eruptions. Further around from Red Rocks is a 'haul out' area for NZ fur seals @ Sinclair Head. Hundreds of seals are visible during winter (May - September) sunbathing among the rocks. Check out the Department of Conservation's webpage below for more information.

    You can also walk the 8km track or take your own car to travel part of the journey (still require walking to get to Red Rocks). Allow 2-3 hours for the trip and bring some snacks & drink with you. Dress warmly and wear good shoes to walk on the rugged terrain.

    There are also private tours that takes you all the way to Sinclair Head. The Seal Coast Safari costs NZD$59 per adult. For more information, check out www.sealcoast.com.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Wrap Up Warm!!

    by wkcsmt Updated Feb 22, 2005
    Wellington Wind Turbine

    It is located on top of Brooklyn Hill, off Ashton Fitchett Drive.

    Access:
    WALK (warning - must be fit!!), BIKE or CAR.

    It'll be a very rewarding WALK - spectacular breathtaking views of the Wellington region, Cook Strait and in the distance, the South Island... if you're lucky (better on a good day!)

    REMEMBER TO WRAP UP WARM... CAN BE EXTREMELY COLD & WINDY!!!

    Some facts about the wind turbine:
    Nominal annual generation: 1 GWh
    Installed capacity: 0.23 MW
    Blade length: 13.5 metres
    Height: 31.5 metres
    Weight: 22.8 tonnes

    The maximum output of 225 kilowatts is enough electricity for the equivalent of 60-80 homes.

    I've got more panoramic views from Brooklyn Hill in Travelogue section.

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    Hunter Building @ VUW

    by wkcsmt Updated Jan 13, 2005
    Hunter Building

    The Hunter Building celebrates its 100th birthday in 2004! The historic Hunter Building is the original University building, built just after the University began in the late 19th century. In 1992-3 it was fully restored and now houses: Student Recruitment & Course Advice, Student Fees Office, Scholarships Office, Disability Support Services, and Victoria’s central administration and upper management staff.

    In Autumn, the leaves covering the lower part of the walls will turn orangey red creating yet another face for the building. I'll see if I can find some photos of this to add onto this page...

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Study Abroad
    • Historical Travel

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    King Kong film set

    by RogerW1nz Written Nov 3, 2004

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    King Kong set

    Peter Jackson, director of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, started filming his new movie "King Kong" in July 2004. Part of the set of this new movie was built on land near Wellington Airport, just around the corner from Lyall Bay.

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    Seatoun

    by Kate-Me Written Apr 24, 2004

    While we were in Seatoun searching uselessly for the Lord of the Rings Cafe, we were almost right on the beach when we happened upon this very interesting wooden carved sculpture of a man playing guitar, in somebody's garden.
    My husband, being a guitarist, was quite interested in it.

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    Drive to Seatoun

    by Kate-Me Written Apr 24, 2004

    We read in the Lord of the Rings location guide book in a shop that Seatoun, a little suburb of Wellington just around the harbour, was a place where many of the actors and actresses hung out at a cafe called the Chocolate Fish during filming, and decided to take a drive to see if we could find it....
    well, we found the town (what there was of it - only one or 2 shops and some houses) but we didn't find any cafe, though we backtracked a few times. Eventually we just found the beach, took a look, and drove back along the harbour again.
    It was a nice drive, and on the way back we passed many interesting architectural examples of all different styles, of houses all set right back against the hillside, many with unbelievably steep driveways, and perched seemingly quite precariously.
    This house particularly took my fancy. If you blow it up, you will see that on the front are stencils of birds and fish.

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Wellington Off The Beaten Path

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