18 June 2014

Wellington waterfront photography, and the sunrise from Mt Victoria

The long Queens Birthday weekend in Wellington delivered a forecast that was for fine and still weather three days running (which is pretty rare for the first official weekend of winter let alone any time!) so I wasn't about to waste it.

The previous two days I'd also been up at 6am to take some shots, the first day at Seatoun Pier and the next morning at Island Bay so on the third day I thought I might try out the waterfront.

Thankfully it had warmed up a few degrees from the previous two days where I'd nearly lost all feeling in my fingers, so standing out in the 6-7 degree chill felt positively tropical by comparison.

Wellington is famous for its wind. And there's not many days of the year where the wind drops enough to grace us with a harbour that could so easily pass for a mirror. Which is why this particular morning was just so special.

Still enough for all the bright lights along Oriental Parade to be reflected as golden candle flames.

Clear enough for the odd, bright star to still be visible as a twinkle in the sky.

I found myself with itchy feet though. I didn't want to be stuck in one spot wasting other points of view and so found myself back in the car moving further around the parade to pause and take an even wider view of the city.

It was at this moment that the possibility of catching the sunrise on Mt Victoria suddenly captured my imagination. The great thing about living in such a compact city is that it's literally only a 5 minute drive from the photo above at sea level to the photo below on the summit.

To begin with I took up a vantage point at the main lookout overlooking the city accompanied by at least a dozen enthusiastic teenagers who had obviously gotten up early especially to see the sunrise and an enthusiastic photographer capturing some time lapse shots with his shutter clicking away continuously every minute or so. But I still thought the vantage point lacked something, so after a few minutes (and with time not really on my side as the sun wasn't far off rising) I made a snap decision to move to the other lookout nearer the harbour and tower.

I was the only one there and I couldn't quite believe that I had this amazing spot all to myself as it had much better views, largely uninhibited by any trees.

And as it turned out there was just enough cloud cover on this morning to turn just another sunrise into something else. I managed to catch an early morning Jetstar flight coming into land over the harbour while watching the sun's rays get steadily brighter.

I was given a vision of Heaven for these few short minutes.

I've lived in Wellington for twelve years this month, and yet I have to admit I'd never seen the sunrise from here before. Because our house looks out towards these hills, we get a pretty good sunrise show most mornings, so I'd never really thought too much about going anywhere else.

But with these memories safely tucked away in my heart it won't be the last time I come here, now that I know what could be on offer. I'm now dreaming of a morning where I can bring the boys up here and watch the miracle of the new day together. Now that will be special.

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