Two children sitting ahead of me on the wooden benches of Wellington’s Cable Car squish their noses against the glass window. They gaze in awe as we chug up Kelburn’s hillside, past terraced homes bright with blossoming bougainvillea.
I’m just as excited; the thrill of a different mode of transport is not lost on me. I’m reminded of how as a youngster, I would catch the miniature train around the Hamilton Lake, stopping for an ice cream and to feed the ducks. And it takes me back more recently to jumping on board the tram in San Francisco’s Union Square…
For more than 100 years the cable car has offered Wellington locals and visitors a delightful escape from the bustling city. It passes through tunnels adorned with flashing neon lights, creating mesmerising patterns, before reaching the botanic gardens at the top. Panoramic views reveal the cityscape and harbour.
Some passengers go on to the Kowhai Café; others rush off to the Cable Car Museum. I stroll through the gardens, appreciating luscious green archways, pops of bright blossoms and the pond which is home to mother ducks and their ducklings. Children squeal with joy at the playground.
On the ride back into the city, I feel somehow different. The mini excursion has left me with a lighter heart.
Reported by Monica Tischler for our AA Directions Autumn 2019 issue