A visit to Makara Beach in the middle of a southern winter

Makara beach is only about a 15-minute drive from Wellington city, on the south-western coast. It’s rugged, wind-swept, stony, and carries a stark beauty that probably typifies this part of New Zealand.

It’s got an astonishing history. Peter Jackson filmed his first movie, Bad Taste, in the area over 25 years ago. During the Second World War, gun emplacements were built on the hills above. And last Sunday, She Who Must Be Obeyed and I spent a few hours there, the shortest day of the year. Needless to say, I took my camera.

Makara Beach, winter 2014. You wouldn't think it was winter, really.

Makara Beach, winter 2014. You wouldn’t think it was winter, really.

 

Old boat winch and rails, Makara Beach, winter 2014.

Old boat winch and rails, Makara Beach, winter 2014.

Tussock, Makara Beach, winter 2014.

Tussock, Makara Beach, winter 2014.

Makara beach township from across the bay, winter 2014.

Makara beach township from across the bay, winter 2014.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2014

8 comments on “A visit to Makara Beach in the middle of a southern winter

  1. KM Huber says:

    Lovely, lovely, Matthew. To me, your pictures reflect what Wyoming would look like today if it were near the sea, having once been an inland sea. I know you and I have touched on this previously. Also in this post is the realization that while you were observing your shortest day of the year, I was at Waverly observing our longest day of the year. As much as you and I comment back and forth, every once in a while our opposite physical localities come into play, and it fascinates as well as amuses. What technology has made possible! Hope you both enjoyed your day.
    Karen

    • It’s intriguing how the two places are similar. Curiously, the history of NZ also closely parallels Wyoming, in the sense that both places were being developed at much the same time and with similar ideals (our entrepreneurs of the 1860s were looking across to the US for inspiration). A shared ‘Pacific Rim’ frontier culture, migrated across to here by US whalers and traders initially, later by gold miners.

      The way the internet has been able to connect people from opposite sides of the world continues to astound me. Virtually impossible even 20 years ago. Technology has made the place very small.

      Yes, we had a great day out.

  2. jjspina says:

    Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos! I never realized how beautiful New Zealand is.

  3. Lemuel says:

    Love the photos! I really want to visit this place. In my collection I have a series of wartime photographs of members of the Home Guard training there. It looks like a place with a lot of character.

    • It has that. Despite the proximity to Wellington it had a very remote feel – helped, I suppose, by the 1.5 lane wide road. I have no idea how they got some of the components for the wind farm down it! There has also been a lot of work put into improving access to the old military emplacements by walking track.

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