Field Trips · Science

Family Field Trip: West Wind Recreation Area

On Anzac Day we decided to make the most of the excellent autumn weather and head out to see somewhere unusual.  A wind farm.

We headed out towards Makara on Wellington’s west coast until we reached Meridian Energy’s West Wind Recreation Area.   This let the Oh Waily kids get up close and personal with a huge wind turbine.  It also allowed the Oh Waily parents the opportunity to admire some beautiful scenery.

We were also able to talk about electricity; where it comes from and what sorts of things around the house use it.  And because part of the short walking trail takes you through a pine plantation we were able to have a wonderful sensory experience.  The tall trees waved significantly in the wind, creating all sorts of sounds including creaking as they rubbed together and whooshing as the wind blew through.  Due to the plantation being pines we were also able to have a great walk on a very luxurious and thick carpet of pine needles.  We even managed to pick up a pine cone and Mr Oh Waily talked about how they work.

Here are a few pictures from the trip.

The Turbine.
Turbine

Looking to the southwest.
To the South

And now a bit more of the South Island.
To the South Island

Some of the remains of Fort Opau.
Fort Opau

An odd remnant of art, now encased and preserved on the derelict wall.
Mercury

Master Oh Waily striding with intention across the hilltop, whilst being buffeted by the winds.
Intention

Miss Oh Waily on the top step of the non-existent barracks from Fort Opau.
On the Steps

If you live in or near Wellington and the weather is fine and not too windy, then this is a great trip to take with children. Older ones would most probably manage the two other, longer, walks in the recreation area. They are more like tramps and not just gentle meandering walks, so you would need to come prepared for that. I think the scenic rewards would be well worth the effort though.

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