Mount Victoria

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Often living in a city, you begin to lose sight of nature and how beautiful it can be. As corny as that sounds, it’s true! Sometimes you have to remove yourself from the buzz of the city and escape into the leafy heights of nature. Arguably, my favourite part about the cities of New Zealand, though other cities often offer the same, is the natural element situated amongst the high-rise buildings. Whether it is a park, a forest or a hill, a sense of freedom is provided to you through the ability to walk underneath the shade of a tree without your feet stepping upon hard concrete. This is something the city streets cannot offer to a large extent. Therefore, I thought that with all my spare time between exams, I would make it my mission to make it to the top of Mount Victoria at some point this week, not only to say I have done it, but also to satisfy what may be referred to as induced cabin fever. It’s easy to forget how it feels to walk along as the sunlight fractures through the trees trunks, or what it feels like to sit beneath a tree and look up between the leaves as the sun shines upon your face.

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Admittedly, I think that this morning was the earliest I have dragged myself from the comforts of my bed since I moved to Wellington at the start of this year. A 7:30am start isn’t exactly my first choice of things to do, you see. However, I can honestly say that it was worth it. From the city centre, it’s quite easy to get to the top of Mt Vic, by walking straight to the end of Courtenay Place, past the bars that lie dormant until Friday and Saturday nights, and onto Majoribank Road which takes you on an incline towards the beginning of the climb to the top. I’d say doing these kind of things with friends is both for good company and a good distraction. I find when other people are around the incline isn’t actually so painful, because once you’re stuck in your own mind and thinking through every step, what originally was an exciting thought has turned into a regret as your legs begin to burn. Yet, with friends you can forget about the fact that you are exercising, then it feels like less of a chore and more of a delight. Is that why people work out together then? Except – for me – I just get competitive and it becomes an ugly experience, but somehow this is an exception.

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So, walking through the forest track leading to the Lookout, admiring the view as the sun and Wellington city emerge in their full glory, spreading light across every inch of the hilltop, I began to gain a full appreciation of Wellington city. Stretching from left to right; the airport to the docks across the harbour and beyond – the view encompassed everything as far as the eye could see and for that time I was standing at the top of the world. My world. As corny as that sounds, it’s amazing how a beautiful and clear day can clear your mind and calm your soul. Don’t believe me? Try it! Bar some aching muscles and some chilly extremities, I promise that it’s worth it, just for the view!

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