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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 9 (December 1, 1934)

A Wellington Picture

A Wellington Picture.

Here, before describing the route our Royal visitor will take in his six weeks' tour of New Zealand, one would like to say something of the beauty which is Wellington's under certain aspects, a quality of beauty His Royal Highness may discover before he leaves it.

The mists on the hills give this up-and-down city a quality of beauty that no other city in the Dominion can show, not even Dunedin. As summer comes on Wellington has a morning glory of mingled mist and sunlight that gives an ever-changing picture of soft colour. Auckland has its foggy beauty of early morning. The writer never will forget that sight, out beyond Rangitoto Channel, of Admiral Sperry's American fleet in line silently emerging out of the luminous fog like spirit ships, in seemingly endless procession. How long ago was that? Twenty-six years—yet it remains in the memory when later pictures have faded. But Wellington's morning glory is of a quite alpine character, if you see it from the city's hills. Visitors to Queenstown, on Lake Wakatipu, often climb Ben Lomond to view the early-day picture above the low-lying mist. Looking out from the heights just in the rear of the city heart, one of these quiet mornings, before the sun has swung up over the Orongorongo Ranges, you might almost imagine yourself in the heart of the Urewera country or on the slopes of Ben Lomond. If it were not for the flagstaff and the lofty radio station masts on the sharp tip of Mount Victoria, and for the dim shapes of the nearer houses in the foreground, the illusion would be complete. The silent city in the valley below is invisible, drowned in a fleecy sea; so, too, is the harbour; only the higher summits lift like islands above the level ocean of vapour. Dwellers on the higher parts of the city here are gods looking out over a world of white and smoky blue.

And let one affirm further, in the hope that our visitors will discover it also—that there is sometimes a magic beauty in a Wellington night that not even the Waitemata harbour's summertime nocturnes can surpass.

Our distinguished visitor will sample many kinds of weather in New Zealand. This is no monotonous continental land such as Mr. Kipling pictures in two of his lines about the West Coast of South America:

“Day long the diamond weather, The high unaltered blue.”

We are fortunate in living in a very different land from that changeless, rainless part of the earth.