Sheep photo, Makara beach, Wellington

There are lots of sheep in NZ... this one is on the wrong side of the fence on a cliff top above Makara beach, near Wellington. Cook Strait forms the backdrop. The Wellington coastline (at the bottom of the North Island) is a wild and rugged place. Many parts are exposed to Southerly storms and the Strait is notorious for its swells, gales and shipwrecks. Makara beach is significant because it is one of the few places where it is possible to land by sea and an inland route (road) exists to Wellington. Historically, Makara was home to an Itallian fishing community and before that a Maori Pa... you can still find wild spinach growing as a sign of the Itallian habitation along the coast - very tough, very salty (the spinach that is). Makara village also has one of the oldest churches in New Zealand.

This photo is taken near the WWII gun emplacements which were meant to be able to hit ships passing between the islands and prevent a landing at Makara. Not that they, or the rest of NZ saw any action. However, a spotter plane was launched from an off-shore submarine (well I guess it wouldn't be on-shore) to make a reconnaissance of Auckland city (much further north) and a German sub even landed men on the East Coast of the North island... but only to milk some cows - they retreated at dawn with fresh milk for their breakfast.

South of Makara the 1200MW HVDC power cable comes ashore. The cable links the two main Islands. At Makara the earth electrode for the inverter station at Haywards (15km away) is grounded. (The engineering bit).

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Copyright (c) 1996 Jonathan Carr