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Celebrating our steps

terrace-gardens

by Alana Bowman
This week has seen the launch of a website dedicated to the outdoor steps found all around Wellington. This little project is the result of my coming across the steps as I walked around the city – I was surprised by where they led and that there were so many of them.

The website is the result. There are heaps more steps to be added, but this is a start, and I hope that my effort causes more interest, and more explorations, and lots of fun.

Some wonderful surprises include The Terrace Gardens (top picture). You find this hidden garden by way of Allenby Terrace on The Terrace, after many steps to get there.

amritsar-st

The most steps in Wellington belong to Amritsar Street in Khandallah, with approximately 473 – my count may be off one or two.

farmers-lane

My vote for the ugliest – Farmers Lane, along Lambton Quay.

masons-lane

But nearby is certainly one of the most interesting of the steps along Lambton Quay, Masons Lane. It was recently done up by the Wellington City Council and now has its own video show and rather swank lamps.

maida-vale

Maida Vale offers a step for every day of the year, as well as great views, and lovely plants along the way.

hankey-st

The Hankey Street steps offer a wonderful zigzag and a sense of being in a secluded forest.

plimmer-steps-statue

And of course, the most famous, Plimmer’s Steps, with the statue of the ‘Father’ of Wellington himself.

plimmer-steps-tree

But also, halfway up the steps, an oak tree believed to have been planted by Mr Plimmer himself.

Here is the link – let the climbing begin!

https://wellingtonsteps.com

13 comments:

  1. Pauline, 25. May 2019, 23:22

    Thanks Alana, wish my legs could cope with these. And sure agree on Farmers Lane!

     
  2. Neil Douglas, 26. May 2019, 10:00

    Masons Lane is dangerous thanks to the ever present water oozing down the steps and potential slime. The idea of ferns growing up the side wall is nice but the designer didn’t factor in the ‘slippy factor’. The WCC needs to sort out some proper drainage before somebody does themselves a serious injury.

     
  3. Patrick Morgan, 26. May 2019, 15:44

    Brilliant work, Alana. As a paper boy in the 70s I spent countless hours tramping up and down the steps of Northland.

     
  4. Peter S, 26. May 2019, 17:33

    I too remember delivering papers in Kelburn in the 70s, and then delivering milk all over Highbury, Kelburn and Aro Valley. Remember milk in bottles? Aaahhh, the good old days! Lots of stairs of course. Then a few years ago I was walking the dog and discovered the steps between Maida Vale and Grafton roads. Like a lost world up there.

     
  5. Benny, 27. May 2019, 9:32

    Absolutely amazing initiative. I always thought these steps were a jewel and an incredible asset to our city, an asset with character. Well done!

     
  6. Paul, 27. May 2019, 10:38

    @Neil, the council have removed the wall plants from Mason’s Lane, which has cleared the slimy water issue. A good idea poorly implemented.

     
  7. Neil Douglas, 27. May 2019, 13:30

    Paul, I’ll have to check. Last week when I clambered down the stairs from the Terrace to Capital Offices (the new Post Office and without a post box!) on Mason’s Lane the ferns were there on the wall which was still oozing gallons of water on to the stairs. Tread carefully I did!

     
  8. John Rankin, 27. May 2019, 14:52

    I came down Masons’ Lane today and ferns and water were both present.
    Is the lane named after a Mr or Ms Mason or after a collective of Masons? I think we should be told. The official name lacks an apostrophe, suggesting the lane is merely a place where masons may be found, should one have the need and know how to shake hands.

     
  9. James S, 27. May 2019, 16:47

    According to a newspaper cutting included on the ‘Wellington Steps’ website, the Lane was named after a Mr Mason. I agree that the steps are often wet and slippery.

     
  10. Rod, 28. May 2019, 7:17

    Having been in furniture removal for the past 26 years (now retired), those pictures cause me great distress!
    Rod the Scotsman (Wgtn).

     
  11. Paul, 28. May 2019, 10:37

    Apologies, you’re right – the council have put the ferns back and not done anything to sort the drainage out in Mason’s Lane. Makes you wonder what they were doing when it was all fenced off and dry for a couple of weeks.

     
  12. Bhs, 1. June 2019, 18:49

    WCC need a drainage engineer! Perhaps they could second the head of GWRC bus planning.

     
  13. Alana, 2. June 2019, 23:47

    I didn’t expect the discussions to lead to drainage!

    I do hope the article is an inspiration for people to visit some steps if they haven’t before.

    And please send suggestions for ones I’ve missed to StepsWellington@protonmail.com