Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Saturday Adventure!

A few weeks ago it was my Dads 60th birthday. We had dinner and did presents...but that Saturday we took him on an adventure. Unfotunately Nick was working and couldn't come, but that didn't stop Mum, Dad and I.

Dad spent the few days before driving Mum and various other people slightly insane trying to guess where he was being taken. Saturday morning he still had no idea.I had a limited amount of petrol in my car, so Dad actually drove us all in to Wellington...and he still had no idea. It wasn't until we got him sitting on the boat that he worked out we were taking him to Somes Island.

Leaving Wellington, looking back at Oriental Bay.

Looking back at the jetty on Somes Island
View back to Wellington from Somes Island
Looking over Somes Island towards the motorway.
 Somes Island has an interesting past. Right now it is a wildlife sanctuary. There are no pests on the island, allowing native flora and fauna to thrive. Awesome. But over the years it has been many things. Somes Island has been the site of Maori Pa, a safe place to retreat to in times of conflict and war. It hosted the first lighthouse in Wellington harbour. It has been a quarantine island, insuring early settlers didn't spread diseases to the mainland. It's been a prisoner of war camp and hosted heavy anti-aircraft guns during the war. Most recently Somes Island was a quarantine for animals coming into New Zealand.

The office in the animal quarantine building.
In animal quarantine

Army base for the heavy anti aircraft guns. There were 5 guns on the island.

At the top of the Island.

A real, live, Giant Cook Straight Weta.
Now days the Island is a wild life sanctuary. We were lucky enough to spot this Giant Weta as we were walking round the island. Massive! Yes it's alive!

It was an amazing day.

Today we're taking Dad to see Tangled, before it's not on in the cinema anymore! It's down to two screenings a week!

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