You make the world keep spinning.
You make the world a better place for all of us.
Welcome Tours is hugely appreciative of the various roles that volunteers play in sustaining our environment, nurturing wildlife, contributing to the arts and making them accessible, providing hospitality to visitors, researching heritage and sharing these discoveries.
We benefit from your efforts on our tours. What's more, personal encounters with volunteers can make an experience particularly memorable. A fine example of this was a recent visit to the delightful Shannon Railway Station Museum. Our Discovery Day Trip guests were enthusiastically welcomed by volunteers Judith, Pat and Tony who provided us with a talk and a cuppa - their hospitality and passion for local history made the visit extra special.
It's a tricky business isn't it? ... deciding what to hold on to from the past. Somehow I'm now of the generation that is entrusted with the guardianship of family history. It feels like a big responsibility.
I admit that I didn't used to have much interest in the past. Historic photos sometimes grabbed my attention, particularly those that showed the early twentieth century era that my grandparents grew up in - through the photos I could imagine the crazy rate of technological change experienced during their lifetimes.
Now though, I've come to appreciate that going back only two or three generations earlier, my family were among the earliest European settlers in New Zealand.
Wow!! Like really, WOW!! How amazing would it be to step back into their shoes? How extraordinarily different this new land and the new life of those very early settlers must have been from what they knew in their homelands.
Take Alice's parents for example. Alice Russ is pictured here with her husband Thomas. Her parents James and Sarah Horn sailed into Nelson aboard the Prince of Wales on 31 December 1842. In James Poppleton Horn's later life he recorded some fascinating memoirs that give me an inkling into their lives as Nelson established itself. I doubt that James could have imagined what a gift he was giving future generations when he put pen to paper.
I'm pleased that my mother has written and shared 'snippets' of her childhood for our family to enjoy. In fact, I've taken to recording some memories of my childhood in a notebook myself. In the words of Louisa May Alcott:
I appreciate now that learning about James, Alice and others who have passed before me helps me to understand who I am, and the time and place I live in. But I am shaped by so many strands of cultures and circumstances. The broader the interest I take, the better.
Aside from James Poppleton Horn and my mother who have done their bit to preserve memories, I am really grateful to the heritage devotees who put in hours, dollars, and hard yards to protect and preserve treasures from the past. We'll be visiting some of these enthusiasts on the Wairarapa Heritage Tour in September. The motorcycle and side car pictured here are part of Gaye and Francis Pointon's magnificent vintage automobile and motorcycle collection, and the splendid vintage sport leotard is from Henry Christensen's private treasure trove of rural relics at Mt Bruce.
Excitement about the Wairarapa Heritage Tour is building, so be in quick if you'd like to join this adventure. Staying at Llandaff will be the perfect setting for our Heritage excursions.
I look forward to hearing from you - 04 478 6033.
Quarrying at Owhiro Bay is thankfully well behind us and now days this spectacular piece of coastline is even graced with a landscaped visitor entrance and a designer information centre. If you are keen for a hike around the coast, it's a good idea to come here on a Sunday when the area is closed to vehicles. And if you visit between May and August you will be treated to the sight (and smell!) of a colony of fur seals hauled up on the rocks at Sinclair Head. They are definitely worth investigating - from a safe distance!
Speaking of marine life, Taputeranga marine reserve was introduced in 2008 and stretches from the old quarry at Owhiro Bay around to Princess Bay. The resurgence of sea life within this 854 hectare protected area is stunning. It's definitely worth getting amongst it with a mask and snorkel (and preferably a wet-suit - the water here is NEVER warm!). They say the sea floor around the island is now teeming with crayfish and that the crays are so at ease, they don't even bother hiding in the crevices anymore.
In my view the moods and spirit of the South Coast are captured well in artist Michael McCormack's paintings. Good on Michael for gifting the mural on the side of his studio gallery (pictured) to the people of Island Bay. It's a lovely feature.
Discover some of Sue's favourite spots with her on the Wellington South Coast Discovery Day Trip. Thursday 19 April 2018.
Have you paid much attention to the Wellington waterfront lately? I mean, really taken a good look at what's there? Sure, it's a great place for a stroll on a gorgeous day - picturesque with a buzz of activity. But if you start peeking in the nooks and crannies and paying attention to the information around you, you'll be treated to a wealth of art and culture. And it couldn't be easier, with a number of helpful guides that make this discovery a breeze.
Let's start with the Wellington Writer's Walk. Sculptural quotations dotted around the waterfront pay tribute to Wellington in the words of New Zealand poets, novelists and playwrights.
To spur you further along your cultural journey, there's a Waterfront Sculpture Trail.
One sculpture of note is the Kupe statue which depicts the arrival of Maori in Aotearoa/New Zealand. It was originally on show at the grand Centennial Exhibition in Wellington (1939/40) and has resided at the Wellington Railway Station, the Wellington Showgrounds and Te Papa. Now cast in bronze, the statue seems at home on the waterfront, standing proud in front of Te Wharewaka o Poneke function centre.
Of the 13 sculptures on the trail, my personal favourite is Nga Kina by Michel Tuffery. It reminds me of summer holidays. At present Nga Kina is backed by a building site, but it's still worth a visit.
Left: Kupe by William Trethewey (1939), Centre: Nga Kina by Michel Tuffery (2012). Right: Fruits of the Garden by Paul Dibble (2002).
And call me unobservant but I only recently noticed the large Paul Dibble sculpture Fruits of the Garden that sits high in Frank Kitts park. This is best viewed from the park, but can be seen from the waterfront walk as well.
If you would like to join a small group, Sue is hosting a guided tour of Wellington Waterfront on Thursday 22 March.
Sue is the Director and Chief Explorer at Welcome Tours. Sue blogs about new discoveries and the things that matter to Welcome Tours.