We drove around the Bays yesterday. “Why bother going to the Coromandel?” my husband asked me. I laughed in delight. He was right. Currently, Wellington – especially the eastern suburbs and the drive around the bays there – look like the Coromandel or Northland (albeit a month late) lined with pohutukawa in brilliant red. I had talked about making a special trip north one year to see the pohutukawa in bloom. But after Wellington, why bother?
I wish I had photographs of the bush-clad hills and the pohutukawa lining the edge of the harbour. I took a few at the end of our drive but they’re poor relations to the ones I oohed and aahed at.
The city – on holiday – felt like a beach resort. Everywhere there were people enjoying the sun. After a dreadful few days between Christmas and New Year, perhaps this smacked a little of desperation before going back to work. But it felt joyous. I’ve never seen so many people fishing on the harbour’s edge. My husband informed me this may have been as a result of someone recently catching a 10 kg (22 pound) kingfish. Inspired, half of the population of Wellington appeared to be out fishing for their supper. The other half were playing on the beaches, walking, cycling, running. Or picnicking, as we did on the world’s best bacon-and-egg pie (if I do say so myself) and enjoying the view. New Zealand’s Christmas Tree, decorated by nature, was out in full bloom, and it seemed appropriate that we were all making the most of the festive atmosphere before the year began again in earnest.