On the morning after the anti-mandate protest came to a violent end, the sea of flattened tents outside Parliament resembles a music festival hit by a cyclone.
Piles of debris litter the front lawn atop earth scuffed for weeks by hundreds of feet, and later scorched by flames.
As a digger arrives on the scene and gets to work, a lone sign protrudes from the wreckage: "Mandates are divisive."
The charred children's playground sits cordoned off in the middle of the lawn, a reminder this was not a music festival.
A few blocks away, though, it's easy to forget what occurred on Parliament's lawn just yesterday afternoon.
Walking down Lambton Quay this morning, Wellington felt more like home than it had in weeks. The cleared streets hummed with the pre-dawn stillness you would expect at 5.30am in a city not yet woken up.
A visitor to the capital this morning may not have known what transpired over the past three weeks, let alone just 12 hours ago when flames engulfed what remained of "Camp Freedom" during the occupation's last gasps.
But as you get closer to Parliament, you get a better idea.
Hundreds of police still surround the Parliament building and adjacent streets – a sight that would have been startling just a month ago. Three fire trucks sat stationed at the back of the building when I entered.
For people watching the events on TV, it felt as though you could have been watching a riot unfold on the other side of the world. Walking onto Parliament grounds this morning made those horrific scenes feel real, the aftershock still lingering eerily in the air.
I first clapped eyes on the protest occupation on day 2, the morning after hundreds of protesters pitched tents on Parliament's lawn and declared themselves "in it for the long haul".
In the three weeks that followed it would swell in size. At one point it resembled a music festival or a farmer's market.
This morning, the protest site was a tip – the expanse of tents and discarded signs moved hastily from a sea into large piles. As I watched on from above - the closest we could get to the site itself - police cleared away a mound of signage.
"The Media are the Virus", read one sign being dragged by police across the pavement.
There was a large poster of Bernie Sanders, the left-wing American politician.
In the surrounding streets, the normal rhythms of Wellington life have begun to re-emerge.
It's odd to hear the natural sounds of the city again – the hum of traffic, the clatter of a distant construction site – where for weeks there was only chanting, the wail of sirens and the blaring of bad karaoke, interspersed with the odd abusive remark.
Around Parliament, morning workers stop for coffee, some perhaps for the first time in weeks.
One cafe owner tells me that their takings had dropped by 60 per cent over the protest's duration. Nervous Wellingtonians may be working from home and opting for instant instead.
Another cafe worker, closer to Parliament and a little shell-shocked, tells me about the drama of being so close to yesterday's violent scenes, and how relieved he was to see the protest finally shifted. The "peaceful protesters" we had been told of were long gone by yesterday's events, he told me.
The clean-up wore on as the autumn sun emerged over the harbour, and orange-vested staff made quick work of 23 days' worth of debris. It's shaping up to be Wellington on a good day – in more ways than one.