Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wellington’s Little White Lie on Oriental Bay

Oriental Bay, Wellington, NZ

Oriental Bay on a picture-perfect January day. One of only two days of the year, some Wellingtonians joke, that the postcard pictures are taken in a city dubbed the Windy City for the prevailing nor’westerlies that bluster & send low lying clouds scudding over the hills and through nearby Cook Strait between the North and South Islands.

But that is unfair to a capital city that has a great deep water harbour that one can enjoy from many different vantage points around the bays, out to the Hutt, and from the central city. A leisurely stroll along the harbour front, past Te Papa the national museum, and you soon find yourself in magnificent Oriental Bay.

Look at that stunning white sand. How can it be so bright and clean in a location where hundreds of thousands of people work and live?

Don’t worry! The more than 27,000 tonnes of sand needed to restore and expand the beach area fourfold was obtained from within New Zealand in an environmentally sustainable way. You can read more about it here.

But the sand was

Once again the Mainland (the South Island) stepped up to help out the national capital. The sand was shipped in from Golden Bay, Nelson in the northwest of the South Island.

Seven years to plan & consult, one year to construct (why does it take so long to get things done in New Zealand?), for a cool $7 million. Which incidentally must have pumped up the value of some of the most expensive property in Wellington along the waterfront.

But what price a Green Day at the beach?

So, tourists, not all is what it may seem.

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