The famous Mount Victoria is in fact a picturesque 196-m hill that overlooks the capital of New Zealand, Wellington. On its southern side you will see another hillock, Mount Albert, which is linked to the former by a connecting ridge. Mount Victoria is also known by its name in the Maori language, Tangi Te Keo. The local suburb consists of a combination of residential properties and commercial enterprises, which form a diverse but interlinked community. The hill is a popular recreational site which lures many sightseers, as the elevated vantage point provides sensational panoramic views of the city of Wellington, the local harbour and the shimmering ocean.
Interesting legends are associated with the hill in the mythology of the Maoris. According to tradition, the harbour of Wellington was once a lake surrounded by land, and the haunt of two immense and lively sea monsters, or taniwha. Seeking to escape their confinement, the creatures took separate paths in their quest for freedom. One chose to forge a channel to the sea, thereby creating the opening to the harbour. The other sea monster, whose name was Whataitai, attempted to create another path, but lost his way and died. The story goes that Tangi Te Keo was given its name in remembrance of the soul of the sea creature.
Today, Mount Victoria is an excellent place for jogging, walking or mountain biking. Near the end of the local road, at the summit of the hill, you will see a handsome memorial to the American aviator Richard Byrd. This pioneer is known for his daring expeditions to the Antarctic region via his headquarters in New Zealand. In the year 1929, he undertook his initial flight across the South Pole.
In more recent times, Mount Victoria has served as the backdrop of scenes from the acclaimed Lord of the Rings film trilogy, in one of which startled hobbits took cover from the dreaded Black Riders. Savour the scenic grandeur of the city by checking into one of the quality Wellington New Zealand hotels situated within panoramic surroundings, such as the Copthorne Hotel Wellington Oriental Bay. This Wellington city hotel offers excellent accommodation and attentive hospitality.
Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday.