Saturday, March 10, 2012

Petone Hike/Pencarrow Lighthouse

 It is a Saturday morning and the temperature is a high of 22 degrees celius (in the mid 70's) and the sun is shining so it must be a day for a hike.  From Wellington you can look across the Wellington Harbor and see at the tip of the island opposite from us a lighthouse so we decided to go tramping until we reached the lighthouse.  We had to drive north on motorway 2 and then take the Petone exit.  We continued on through the town of Eastbourne until we reach the end of the road and the gate which allowed us entry onto the road to proceed to the lighthouses.  The road was flat until we reached the first lighthouse and then we had to hike up to the second lighthouse.  It took us about 6 hours to complete the hike.
 This is the lighthouse which is next to the Wellington Harbor.  It would warn the incoming ships of the narrow passage and the eminent rocks.  It was built after the lighthouse on the top.  The Pencarrow Lighthouse located on the top of the hill was often covered with fog so they later built this second lighthouse so that the light could also be seen when weather was bad.
 The Pencarrow Lighthouse sits on top of the hill and is currently being renovated.  They have the top covered and they were sandblasting when we reached the top.

 This is a ferry which goes from the north island (Wellington) to the south island (Picton).  It travels back and forth about 4 times a day.

 Travelling from the first lighthouse to the second took us past two lakes and up through the hillside.
 The first lighthouse keepers were a couple named George and Mary from England.  They had five children and they lived next to the lighthouse.  There youngest child died when she was two years old and shortly after that George drowned in the ocean.  That left Mary and the four children to run the lighthouse.  She was the first woman to have such a responsibility and that was about 30 years before women even had the right to vote.  She fulfilled this responsibility for about 5 years and then she and her children returned to England.
 This is a close up of the Pencarrow Lighthouse.
 There are two lakes which we passed on our journey.  One was called Paragarahu and the other was Lake Kohangapiripiri.  I dare you to try to pronounce those two names.  We use shortened versions for a lot of the names around us.
 This is at the very top overlooking the Wellington Harbor.  The lighthouse is in the background and then Wellington is behind the lighthouse.
 We hiked down a different way and it was much shorter but also steeper.  The walking sticks helped us tremendously.
On the map above Wellington is on the left and then Eastbourne is on the left and Old Pencarrow Lighthouse  is almost to the first point facing the ocean. We had to drive around from Wellington to the other side to begin the hike.

March 10, 2012

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