Tag: Wind

Miramar Peninsula

Miramar Peninsula

Miramar Peninsula, New Zealand – March 12, 2016

Going back through my older photographs, I noticed I had not shared a drive along one of our favorite places in Wellington; the Miramar Peninsula.  On this particular trip, I decided to stop and capture a photograph of the “Windy Wellington” sign.  The sign is on a hillside shortly before one can turn onto the seaside road that encircles the peninsula.

The Windy Wellington sign.

“Windy Welly” is a moniker that many may have heard, but just how windy is Welly? Is it windier than the “Windy City”; Chicago? From all sources I have checked, it appears that Wellington is, in fact, the windiest city. The table below makes a comparison, including several of the cities in which we have lived. These statistics are from Wind Finder. Try the site to check on other towns of personal interest.

City Average Annual Wind Speed
mph km/h
Wellington, New Zealand 17 27
Chicago, Illinois 12 19
Islamabad, Pakistan 12 19
Colorado Springs, Colorado 10 16
Dallas, Texas 10 16
Georgetown, Guyana 10 16
Grand Junction, Colorado 8 13
La Paz, Bolivia 7 11
Madrid, Spain 7 11

 

The average annual wind speed seems so insignificant. So, what is the record wind speed in the same locations? Now, these are some numbers! Bear in mind a category 1 hurricane begins at 74 mph or 119 km/h. Based on that, the record wind speed in Wellington equates to a category 2 hurricane! The records are from the almanac section found on My Forecast.

City Record Wind Speed
mph km/h
Wellington, New Zealand 101 163
Chicago, Illinois 76 122
Islamabad, Pakistan 47 76
Colorado Springs, Colorado 71 114
Dallas, Texas 91 146
Georgetown, Guyana 75 120
Grand Junction, Colorado 78 126
La Paz, Bolivia 70 113
Madrid, Spain 73 118

Luckily our day was not blustery in the least. It began as a bit overcast but cleared to a beautiful day.

The first community one passes through is Shelly Bay, a collection of World War II-era buildings. Some are in disrepair while others have found new life as a café or an art gallery. Other than taking photos, we did not stop on this trip. It has a lovely charm.

A pier at Shelly Bay that is no longer in use.
Shelly Bay piers. The Port of Wellington is in the far distance.
Looking across Shelly Bay.

Our next stop on this trip was Point Halswell and the lighthouse. Lighthouse seems a rather grandiose term. It is a small, automatic beacon. At the point there were several seagulls around, periodically diving into the water. As I got closer, I could see there was a fish carcass just under the surface near the shore. The seagulls plunged in grasped the body, and with the whip of their head, they tore off bits of flesh. It was fascinating to watch.

Preparing to dive into the water.
Grabbing a bite.
Looking for a chance to dive in.
The lighthouse at Point Halswell.
Several gulls watching the action.

Kau Bay was our primary destination that morning. After finding a place to park, we walked down to the beach with our folding chairs. We had never been to that beach before, but we were up for some beachcombing. We found a surprising amount of sea-glass on the pebbly beach. When we had our fill, we sat in the folding chairs and observed the world. We are so fortunate to be able to live in such a beautiful country.

A close view of the beach at Kau Bay.
Scuba divers at Kau Bay.
Scuba divers in Kau Bay. The Point Halswell lighthouse is visible in the background.
A Jetstar jet on final approach to the Wellington International Airport. The Point Halswell lighthouse is below the jet.

Our next stop was the beach at Scorching Bay. It is a lovely public beach. At the beach is a small café, the Scorch-O-Rama. Other than stopping once for some bottled water, we have never sampled the offerings. Before we depart, we need to try breakfast there just once. Some friends go frequently. They say it is terrific.

People enjoying the day at Scorching Bay. The Scorch-O-Rama restaurant is just to the right of the parked cars.
View across Scorching Bay. The nearly vertical line in the center of the photo is a funicular. That is how people get from the street to that particular home. These are quite common in the area.

We were not the only people out that day.  We saw joggers, bicyclists, people fishing, scuba divers, and surfers.  The peninsula seems to have something for everyone.

Fishing off the Karaka Bay pier while the Interislander ferry Kaiarahi passes.
Surfers in Breaker Bay.

When we stopped at Moa Point, we were very near the south end of the runway at the Wellington International Airport. I heard a jet taxiing. When I looked up, I saw a jumbo jet from the Islamic Republic of Iran. The plane was a huge Airbus A340, no wonder it looked so big.

A dignitary from the Islamic Republic of Iran was departing the airport while we were watching from Moa Point.

Other than the occasional aircraft distraction, we busied ourselves with beachcombing. At Moa Point, we are always assured of finding paua shells. The shells we found range in size from about one-inch to nearly eight inches. Neither of us knows what we are going to do with these when we leave. Regardless, it sure is fun to collect them!

The Wellington skyline.
A jellyfish washed up on the beach.
A phone booth that seems to have seen better days…
View across Karaka Bay.
A seagull among the Mytilidae, a small saltwater mussel.
The Interislander ferry Kaiarahi passing a water taxi.
A small red stone on the beach. It turned out to be a small piece of brick.
Fishing from the pier at Karaka Bay.
Karaka Bay Road.
Surfer riding a wave at Breaker Bay.
Pencarrow Head with the two lighthouses.
The Interislander ferry Aratere.
The Interislander ferry Aratere and some surfers in Breaker Bay.
Breaker Bay.
A regatta as seen from Karaka Bay.
View of sailboats from Karaka Bay.
These are Mytilidae, a small saltwater mussel at low tide.
A seagull near some of the Mytilidae, a small saltwater mussel.
These are Mytilidae, a small saltwater mussel.
A rusted eye-bolt in a rock near Scorching Bay.
A wave crashing on a rock with the South Island visible in the background.
These are lottiidae, a type of sea snail.
An old war-bird.
Closer view of a seagull on his perch. The mountains in the background are on the South Island.
A seagull on his perch.
A panoramic view of Lyall Bay from Moa Point. The end of the Wellington International Airport runway is at the right side where the stones are piled.
A wave crashing just offshore.
The Pencarrow lighthouses.
Pencarrow Head and the two lighthouses.
View from the rocky shore of Wahine Memorial Park looking toward the two Pencarrow Lighthouses.
View of the rocky shore at the Wahine Memorial Park.
A very colorful house at Moa Point.