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The best walk home in the world (part 1)

While the bus is my usual mode of transport on the daily migration to and from work, we do live in walking distance of the CBD. When time and weather permit I like to take Shanks’ pony – from work at least, as it’s too much of a logistical pain to do it in the morning. I’ve been making the most of the summer and being able to walk home in daylight, however the frequency will lessen after this month both with the departure of daylight savings and the arrival of exam study.

My preferred route is the via the waterfront, slightly longer than the inland options available, but more picturesque and better for the soul. There’s something therapeutic about fresh sea air especially when accompanied by beautiful harbour views. And at around 10km / 1.5 hours it’s not bad exercise either.

From work I make a short beeline to the central waterfront. As far as city waterfronts go, Wellington’s is a pretty good one with a lot of interesting features and inviting public spaces. It’s very popular especially in summer. As well as the usual array of water activities taking place, currently it’s also dragon boat season.

Dragon boat teams practicing in the harbour, Port of Wellington behind

The walkway goes along around past the national museum and marina.

Looking across to Chaffers Marina sitting below Mount Victoria with iconic Wellington houses and monastery nestled on the hill

Yachting and boating are well supported pastimes here. One of the things I love most about the many coastal roads around Wellington are the old boatsheds that pop up here and there.

Boat sheds at the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club

Not much further on I join Oriental Parade and navigate the masses that usually exercise or congregate around Oriental Bay. In 2004 the council replenished the beach with 17500 cubic metres of sand, a project that has helped make this an immensely popular area.

Oriental Bay, the closest beach to the city

The footpath narrows as I approach Point Jerningham and before bracing for the usual hit of wind once around the corner, a short stretch of vegetation partly obscures the harbour views.

A container ship being guided to the port

Further around the winding waterfront the number of other path users diminishes, providing a bit more solitude though the hum of traffic alongside is fairly constant.

The waterfront is a magnet for runners and walkers

By now I’m walking along Evans Bay Parade and on very windy days it must be amusing for vehicles watching keen walkers stagger drunkenly as they get pushed around by mother nature. Not far from the end of this stretch of waterfront is Greta Point, now quite a nicely developed place with apartments, cafes and green space. And lots of birdlife.

Low tide at Greta Point looking across to old wharf remains and beyond to the Miramar Peninsula

The pier at Greta Point is closed to all but seagulls

Due to the number of photos I’ve split the post – the exciting (!) part 2 to follow.

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