Missionary Henry Williams (who was given the task of translating the english version of the Treaty of Waitangi into Te Reo Maori in one night) once described holding a church service under a ‘‘wide spreading Pōhutukawa Tree’ back 1833. Since then, The Pōhutukawa Tree has become an iconic symbol of both summer and Christmas in Aotearoa.
Paraparaumu Beach & Kapiti Island
I decided that it was time to get an updated photo of Kapiti Island. So, while recently in the North Island, I detoured over to Raumati Beach before heading the short distance along to Paraparaumu. It was one of those hot summer days that I’m reliably informed is typical of the Kapiti Coast in late December and early January. So, after successfully dripping ice cream all over myself, I went in search of views of Kapiti Island from the beach.
Kapiti Island Reserve – Buy
During the 1840s, the whaling trade/industry around parts of New Zealand had started to fade away. Kapiti Island was one of these locations. At this time, much of the land on the Island was cleared for farming and sheep, goats, pigs, deer, cats, and dogs were introduced. For the next forty to fifty years, the island was farmed until around 1900 when the government purchased most of the island and developed it into a predator-free, bird sanctuary.
Kapiti Island – Buy
Accessible only by specific ferry companies, Kapiti Island is a wonderful place to spend some time. These days, the predator-free Island is managed by the Department of Conservation however back in the mid-1830s, there were up to five whaling stations on the island. At the time, European traders and whalers were populating the coastlines and so local iwi provided them with land, pigs, potatoes, dressed flax and women in return for guns, tobacco and alcohol.
Paraparaumu Beach – Buy
Here in Aotearoa we have some wonderful beaches. There are occasions when I don’t think we realise how lucky we are with the beaches we have. They really are various and distinct. From being able to swim and surf to using them for walking and running to everything in between. There’s even more and more wildlife appearing all year round.
Kapiti Island Bush Walk– Buy
The beauty of the bush on Kapiti Island for you to enjoy.
Paekākāriki Hill Lookout – Buy
On my way back to Wellington, I made a short detour up Paekakariki Hill to the lookout. The view looking north is quite amazing as you can see out to Kapiti Island and up the western coastline.
To get to the lookout, you need to take Paekakariki Hill Road. Built in 1849 by British Army engineers with road-building gangs, it linked Wellington and Porirua with the beach road to Whanganui. The road was completed in November of that year and remained the main highway north until 1939.
Kapiti Island Shoreline – Buy
Some years ago, I had the pleasure to spend a day on Kapiti Island. Being a nature reserve, it lies 5 kilometers off the West Coast of the North Island, at Paraparaumu. Often visited by Maori, before europeans sailors arrived, at one point it was a busy whaling and sheep station that was then turned over to the government and made into a predator-free, bird sanctuary. For over 100 years it has been managed by the New Zealand Government in order to protect its flora and fauna.
Paraparaumu Beach and Kapiti Island – Buy
Looking out from Paraparaumu Beach, across to Kapiti Island and the setting sun, I recalled recently reading that back in the 1830’s, whales migrated with their young through the channel between the Island and the shore. It would have been marvellous to see. I also recall reading that the channel provided a sheltered anchorage for ships and several shore-based whaling stations operated near-by, which explains why you don’t see whales in the area any more!
Paraparaumu Beach– Buy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery
As far as good beaches for walking goes, Paraparaumu Beach has to be right up there. On a warm evening as the sunset’s beyond the horizon with the tide out you can walk with no particular purpose admiring all the colours in the sky.
Kapiti Sunset– Buy
The whole reason for the crop on this image of Kapiti Island is to get that wee patch of orange/red cloud and it’s reflection in. Initially I cropped it with a 12:5 ratio (or close to it) but the more I looked at it, the more I realised that I really liked what that wee patch of cloud added to the final image.