Premier Windy City in the World

Wellington became the capital of New Zealand in 1865, replacing Auckland. Some of the people at that time believed that the capital should be located closer to the Cook Strait and the southern island to discourage a separate colony being formed near the gold fields.

Wellington is the windiest city in the world. One hundred and seventy three days a year the wind blows at least 30 miles an hour or greater. This area is where the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman Sea and their tidal differences and the narrow Cook Strait make for such windy conditions.

The coastline scenery on our way up and down the harbor was breathtaking, varied in vegetation, and interesting. The further we got from the city, however, the more sparse the vegetation became with the end of the road appearing almost desert-like with little visible grass.

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Next we came to Pencarrow Station, one of the earliest settled sheep and cattle farms in the Wellington area. Set on 2,000 aces, it is home to Wellington’s two hidden lakes. The rainfall in this area is about 30” a year, but Pencarrow Station has an artesian spring that provides water for their restaurant, family use and livestock as well. We enjoyed a delicious buffet luncheon and enjoyed walking around the grounds.

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After lunch our host explained his sheep operation and his dogs demonstrated to us how to both steal sheep and herd/hold them. The dogs were a mixed breed combination of herding dogs (Australian shepherds) and whippets.

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Shortly after leaving the restaurant we saw the iron hulk of a ship, S.S. Paika that was launched in 1881, sunk in 1906, and was recovered in 1987. The ship sunk in the harbor and is now rusting away to oblivion.

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On our way back to Wellington, we stopped to see the oldest lighthouse in New Zealand.

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