Look, even if you’ve never been to Wellington in your entire life, at the very least you’ll likely associate the city with one or both of its two defining natural features; the wind and/or the hills. Yes, the country’s capital has so many other great things going for it, but in order to enjoy the city’s many pleasures the locals must learn to endure that darn wind and those hellish hills.
The latter of which has plagued locals and their brittle knees for decades and for some the situation is so severe they’re barely able to make the steep trek to their own houses. Well, at some point over the past century, a handful of intuitive residents decided enough was enough. Their solution? Personalised cable cars, which are able to leisurely glide Wellingtonians comfortably up and down the natural slopes of the city to and from their homes without, bypassing the need to have a half an hour sit down and a few puffs on the inhaler.
It’s estimated that the city has around 150 personal cable cars installed in its border, a number that was over double just a few decades ago but reduced significantly following an accident which led to many of the city’s models being decommissioned for safety reason. The longest of which currently in use sits in Wellington’s Oriental Bay and stretches across over 200m of track, servicing a number of local residencies. Several other existing cable cars are shared between households and are able to make multiple stops, capable of scooping up neighbours along their way up or down, although most possess a fairly modest weight limits of only a few hundred kilograms making them limited to only a few passengers at a time.
The vast majority of the city’s cable cars are manufactured by local outfit Access Automation, who understandably charge a fairly steep (heh) price for installation and maintenance (installation typically costs anywhere between $150,000 – $200,000 and your standard warrant of fitness requires a front up of $850). Still, you probably end up saving yourself thousands of dollars on painkillers, knee braces and Deep Heat so hey, in the long run it might be worth it!
Top image courtesy of Access Automation.