Now that the winter sports are over for another season, it frees up the weekend for us to spend more time together as a family. Something that I have always been very keen to do with the girls is to spend a few hours acting like tourists in our own city and capturing it though my lens. So, let me introduce you to what I hope will become a semi-regular feature Postcard from, in which I will document our outings and the family-friendly sites to visit in this beautiful city of ours, and beyond.
It has never been natural for me to pick up a camera and take photos. I struggle to remember to make sure the battery is charged for birthday parties, so I hope that by continuing to blog, photography will become more natural for me, I will learn how to take great photos and at the same time, I will capture some wonderful memories for my family.
Today was one of those beautifully calm, sunny days that held true to the statement that you can't beat Wellington on a good day. We decided to head to the waterfront via the cable car. Other than that, we had no set agenda, and we spent the best part of the day letting the girls wander and discover this beautiful part of our city.
First stop was the Cable Car Museum. This houses an original wooden cable car at the entrance and a wooden grip car dating from 1905 on the underground level, which I never even knew existed. The girls enjoyed clambering on the old car but if I'm honest they were more curious about the construction work being carried out on the new terminal adjacent to this building. Free admission is always a bonus at times like this.
Then it was time to board the real cable car for our trip downtown. I wonder how many people have this exact same photo in their travel albums. I feel like bursting into song at the sight of it. I might just return and stand in that spot to sing Funiculi, funicula just to shame the kids. Payback for the public humiliation they've subjected me to over the years.
There was only one other passenger on the journey down, so the girls had unrestricted views. Predictably, they stationed themselves right at the front. Sometimes a friendly driver will let the children push the control buttons or ring the bell, that's always a thrill for them. It didn't happen this time, much to Renee's disappointment.
After a short trip, we arrived in the CBD. In amongst some very unspectacular high-rises was this rose. It looked so out of place nestled between the newer buildings and yet I had never noticed it before. Love windows, it's my thing. I even spy a beauteous chandelier. Photography 101 - when taking photos, always look up. You never know what you might see.
A brief stroll across some inner-city streets and we were on Queen's Wharf. It is such a beautiful spot, and the children love the wide open space and tactile public artworks on display. My girls were my artwork outside Shed 5. While it is not a restaurant I would ever consider taking my children to, it provided the perfect backdrop for taking some photos.
By this time, the girls were getting hungry. The inner-city waterfront easily spans a few kilometres and there are plenty of eateries dotted around Queen's Wharf to suit most tastes and budgets.
We lunched at Chicago, a favourite of ours as the portion sizes are generous for larger appetites and it caters well for children. For an inner-city restaurant, is surprisingly great value - $7 for children's meals which includes a drink. The staff also provide the children with colouring pencils and activity sheets to keep them entertained while awaiting their orders. The only negative aspect is that the womens' toilets are in desperate need of an overhaul. Whilst there, I noticed a broken tap handle, the cubicle door for the disabled wouldn't lock and the condition of the other unoccupied toilet was enough to force me to wait for the toilet in use to become available. Enough said.
I loved the idea of the reading nook in the restaurant. It's something I never noticed on previous visits. The days of sitting down and reading a book over lunch or a quiet drink are non-existent for the time-being, but it's nice to know it's there. If ever like, you know, when I have spare time again.
After lunch, we spent the next hour wandering down the sidelanes and dock to view the naval frigate HMNZS Canterbury. Unfortunately, no public access was allowed today. The girls weren't disappointed at all. I was.
Further around the wharf lies Frank Kitt's Park, a green space in the middle of the city, with a playground that is popular with young families. It has a great slide, but being a little older now, not much else holds Renee and Sienna's interest. Instead, they were eyeing up the vertical bungee and battery-operated cars on the other side of the park. The fee of $5 for a five minute ride was well worth the money for the looks I captured on their faces and capped off a busy morning for this family.
There is so much more to discover in this part of town and we hope to return to explore further along the waterfront some time soon.