Wahine memorial – Wellington

IMG_4198A short drive from Wellington city around the harbour takes you to Seatoun, site of a memorial commemorating Wahine Day, 10th April, 1968.  This is what the plaque says:

‘When the worst storm conditions ever recorded by the New Zealand Meteorological Service concentrated their fury over the entrance to Wellington Harbour, the interisland ferry T.E.V. Wahine was overwhelmed and disabled. The vessel dragged two anchors from Barrett Reef to Steeple Rock where she was abandoned prior to capsizing. Two of Wahine’s lifeboats safely reached Seatoun’s foreshore. The community of Seatoun and district rose to the occasion. Great courage was shown by people of all ages, from all walks of life. Although 51 lives were lost in this tragedy, 683 people were saved.’IMG_4199The Wahine’s anchor is set into the ground with the chain leading your eyes to Steeple Rock.IMG_4201The Interislander cruised into the harbour while we were here, a relatively calm experience for the passengers. We walked around the corner to Breaker Bay and were hit by a fierce blast of wind off the Southern Ocean. IMG_4205IMG_4211Looking out the mouth of Wellington Harbour to Cook Strait.

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The Interislander gives Steeple Rock a wide berth.

IMG_4218Looking back towards Wellington city (over the hill) past the Wahine Memorial Park.

There are four Wahine memorial sites around Wellington Harbour, this one at Seatoun,  Wahine’s foremast south of Eastbourne on the opposite (eastern) side of the harbour where many of the survivors and most of the deceased came ashore and on the southern edge of Moa Point Rd on Wellington’s Breaker Bay, home to one of the bow thrusters (propellers) from the Wahine. (The park is remote and rugged and is within view of the notorious Barrett Reef). Finally, on Wellington City’s waterfront at Frank Kitts Park, the second of the Wahine’s masts stands.

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The shape of the trees says a lot about the wind on this coast.

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