National Geographic : 1962 Apr
Teen-age skippers launch P-class boats for a regatta near Wellington. All alike, the boats permit sailors to pit skills rather than craft. Tip-over race in prospect, a youngster adjusts the outhaul of his sail. Three ma neuvered turnovers, as required by rules, teach apprentices how to right capsized craft and show that upsets pose no hazard for the experienced. and cheese pour off the plains of Taranaki. Here we discovered enthusiastic citizens busy about their annual festival. In a huge natural bowl, across a lake, New Plymouth staged its annual Passion Play, which already rivals those of Europe; and New Zealand's national orchestra performed. Symbol of Taranaki is 8,260-foot Mount Egmont, which rises gracefully from pasture lowlands and has been compared with Japan's Fuji (page 464). Taranaki has New Zealand's only produc ing oil wells, and recent major finds of more oil and natural gas point to a booming fu ture. The gas yield may reach 100,000,000 cubic feet daily-40 times Auckland's present needs. Taranaki beaches run dark with iron- rich sand, another potential source of wealth. Taranaki's new wealth, like that of the rest of New Zealand, is reflected in Wellington, the country's capital, where new buildings are pushing up the city's skyline (page 486). Wellington is blocked in by hills and can not sprawl in usual New Zealand style. Houses climb into strange places up the hill sides as Wellington's population grows. Wellington has a reputation for wind. It sits, along with its neighboring communities of Upper and Lower Hutt, on the southern most harbor of the North Island beside Cook Strait, notorious for unpredictable gales. Brake and I had spent years in the city, so when a sharp breeze came gusting down its narrow streets, we felt at home again.