Wandering down to what had once been the Overseas Terminal we found this has been demolished and undergoing a new lease of life. It started life as the Clyde Quay and in the early 1960’s was transformed into the Overseas Terminal catering for passenger ships arriving with tourists and migrants. Unfortunately this was built too late and had a very short life due to air travel killing off sea travel. By 1970 it had become a White Elephant costing the harbour board more than the revenue it was generating. It was then leased out as a conference/function centre with some retail outlets but still had lots of waste space.
Down at what had been Taranaki St wharf we found the Steam Crane Hikitea. This marvellous old vessel was built in Scotland in 1926 and holds the record for the longest voyage under it’s own power of such a vessel when it was sailed to New Zealand complete with the crane erected.
Retired in the 1980’s by the Harbourboard it has been looked after ever since by Maritime Heritage Trust. It is reputedly to be the only working steam crane of it’s type left in the world. Recently it was bought out of retirement to place a new loading ramp in place for the Interislander ferries. This took several days as they could only work while the ferries were at sea.
Next to the Hikitea was the Sea Shepherd Whale protection vessel "Bob Barker". This 30 year old vessel was originally a Norwegian whaler which has been converted to sail in Antarctic waters to keep watch on foreign whaling ships.
Circa Theatre which was once on the city side of Jervois Quay, now on the waterfront.Art Deco Wellington Free Ambulance Building.From City to Sea bridge across Jervois Quay. Artistry by Sara Matchitt 1993. Michael Fowler Centre in the background.
After a picnic lunch in Frank Kitts Park we walked through what used to be Mercer St between the library and council offices into Willis St. Here we did some window shopping at Kathmandu where we found a few good specials but opted not to buy them at this stage. Down into Lambton Quay where a lot of the buildings were a familiar sight among them being the old DIC building. Sadly this is in a sad state of repairs and reportedly due to be demolished.
We popped into Kirkcaldie and Stains to have a look at their Christmas shop. A half price sale was in full swing on all their Christmas decorations etc. nice but still too dear for our liking. Back along the Quay we found Cable Car Lane and the cable car up to the Botanical Gardens. Here we found another old workmate of Derek’s behind the controls of one of the cars.It’s hard to go anywhere without bumping into somebody we know.