Archive | July, 2012

Roll up for a party day

17 Jul

Heaps of activities are on at Wynyard Quarter.  Hot on the heels of the launch of Team New Zealand’s big cat, is the Quarter’s first anniversary on Saturday August 4.  If you’re an early riser, join the dawn chorus at 7 am.  Highlights will be the form throughout the day with boat rides amongst classic yachts berthed in Silo Marina, walking tours from Karanga Kiosk, lantern making for the kids and, in the evening, movies at Silo Cinema from 6pm.

At 10am the steam tug William C Daldy will arrive at its new Hobson West Berth.  The tug will be open for public inspection.  Also look out for the Dockline Heritage Tram and take a ride.  Don’t miss calling in at some of the excellent cafes and bars lining Jellico Wharf.  A tram ticket enables you to hop off and hop back on all day – an ideal way to make the most of the day.

For details visit ?ID=44&Title=Wynyard Quarter First Birthday

Small but important

17 Jul

Three red vehicles are stored in the Dockline Tram Barn.  The smallest, obediently in a corner, should not be overlooked.  It’s the EBV – Emergency Backup Vehicle in the form of a 1950s “Fergie” tractor.  I spotted it earlier in the year on a trial run after mechanic Clinton Pearce had finished giving it a new lease of life.  The Ferguson brand farm tractor gained fame in 1958 when our Sir Edmund Hillary drove one of the same colour to the South Pole while supporting the British Trans-Antarctica Expedition.  Don’t have misgiving about its diminutive appearance.  It can easily tow either of the Dockline Trams around the track in an emergency such as an impromptu power failure.  So far it has not been called on to do so.  Its biggest “emergency” mission,was being called in to carry an over – sized package of fish ‘n chips back to the Tram Barn!

Big cat launch

17 Jul

It’s been a behind doors thing involving 65,000 hours, or 50-man years, to design and build. But next Saturday, July 21, the Emirates Team New Zealand new catamaran Ac72 will be unveiled as it is launched on Viaduct Harbour. The event (free to attend) is open to the public with good viewing from Halsey Street wharf, Events Centre, and various areas around the basin. Those attending are advised to be in position by 5.30 pm, with the promised spectacular event kicking off at 5.45 pm. The big cat has been built for next year’s America’s Cup challenge in San Francisco.

Showcasing Auckland past and present

16 Jul

A brilliant new book by author, photographer and publisher, Graham Stewart, showcases the city of sails with an emphasis on urban transport past and present.  Many historic photographs contrast with the present such as pedestrian control in the CBD.  One colour page of pedestrians awaiting traffic lights contrasts with a black and white page of pedestrians deftly dodging tramcars on the Queen Street and Customs Street intersection.  The author grew up in Auckland so is able to offer a personal perspective on what has become the “Super city.”  He had access to historic photo collections as well as his own vast photo library.

Dockline trams get a good crack of the whip as do the Viaduct Basin and new Te Wero Bridge leading to the developing Wynyard Quarter.  There’s plenty more modern scenes such as the Queen’s Wharf  “The Cloud” created for last year’s Rugby World Cup.  Building the Harbour Bridge gets an airing along with the buzzing harbour ferries, past and present, with a dramatic shot of the 1905 launching of The Kestrel.  Stewart’s eye is frequently drawn to the scarlet pohutakawa lining parts of an idyllic foreshore.  One gets an impression Aucklanders enjoy the outdoor opportunities in their city.  Many photographs depict a 1950’s Auckland.  The majority post 1940 photographs are the author’s.  Along with the CBD and waterfront, the suburbs, including the North Shore, are featured with their on-going changing appearances.  As with all Grantham House books, this one’s presentation is well above average.  At a RRP of $39.95 (including GST) this is a comprehensive book to adorn most Aucklanders’ bookshelves.  It’s already in the bookcases of a few one-eyed Cantabrians, including my own.