Flying into Wellington is always a memorable experience. On a windy day you’re tossed about like a tin can between the hills or swept across the sea, with spray slapping at your windows, then dumped on the edge of the runway and bounced along the tarmac to the terminal. Forget about the views, you’ll probably have your eyes clamped tightly shut in terror. On a calm day however, you’ll have them glued to the window, watching trees and houses glide by just beyond your wingtips, or counting the waves that roll over the rocks in the bays just below.
It was a perfect day when I flew into Wellington last month – windless, cloudless, clear and warm. As we floated gently to earth past Lyall Bay, where surfers idled on the glassy sea, while on the sand, after work sunbathers soaked up the last of the day’s rays, the old Wellingtonian in me stirred. I had to be down there, in that sea, on that sand, or at the very least, beside them. Because, when it’s warm and windless that’s what Wellingtonians do, they head for the beach!
Half an hour later, I was leaning on the sea wall, gazing out towards Cook Strait, breathing in the salty air and watching a gang of schoolkids battle it out with handfuls of wet sand at the water’s edge.
Bliss! – especially after three and a half hours confined in a plane.
There’s no place like Wellington on a good day.