TRAVELSCRIBBLES is a blog featuring travel reports, advice, and idea sharing for those interested in both domestic and international exploration.

Roger Sauer and his wife Donna have spent years traveling the world but have many places yet to see. You can follow their past and current travels here as well as post comments and questions about places they have visited.

Roger and Donna travelled to New Zealand and Australia in September, 2013. They will be in Paris in September 2015 with a train trip to Nice and Barcelona. They will then be aboard the Disney Magic (again) for a transatlantic cruise to Miami. Follow their travels on Twitter @rsauer3473.

Donna and Roger own Disney Vacation Club memberships at Old Key West and Beach Cub resorts in Walt Disney World. They also have other timeshare interests in Maui, Cancun, Orlando, and Palm Springs.
Feel free to contact them at 503-585-3473 if you would like rent one of these properties.

Where Do You Want To Go Today?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

October 1-3, Wellington

October 1, 2013: WELLINGTON


The day broke sunny and cool on the first of October. I learned that there was an elevator that descends down to Lambton Quay so we would not have to walk up and down between the terraced streets that run in a curvy parallel to the waterfront. I walked down to the Pita Pit for a humongous breakfast wrap that we ate in our room. This was all after being in a panic because we had apparently left Donna's jewelry in Rotorua three days ago. After one call to the hotel, we were relieved when the manager called us confirming they found the jewelry in the nightstand. The manager indicated she would send it to our next stop in Christchurch at our cost. A bargain considering the value of the jewelry.


Later in the morning after looking at some shops nearby, we gathered the nerve to take our car and drive a few miles to the Weta Cave and Workshop where special effects are developed for movies like Lord of the Rings, King Kong, Avatar, and TinTin. The Cave is very interesting and souvenirs are spendy. We saw a film about how the company began and later I took a tour through the shops. Many costumes, models, and weapons were on display as well as some full figure statues of creatures from LOTR, and other movies. Very cool. Outside the workshop there are full scale replicas of the trolls from LOTR.


We managed to find our way back to our hotel and had a late lunch. Because all the news on tv was about the imminent US government shutdown, we watched the news for a while and later rented the movie, Broken City.


October 2, 2013: WELLINGTON


A bit cloudy today. A funicular style cable car runs up the hill from Lambton Quay up to the Botanical Gardens. The car went up about 30 degrees and made several stops on the way to the top. An observatory and extensive gardens are at the summit. we walked a trail featuring many Australian species of plants and trees. As it was early spring there were not many blooms yet and we did not walk down into some of the other areas featuring rose gardens and the like. After going on the cable car down the hill we walked around near the Parliament building and train station before having lunch at Burger King. Only authentic New Zealand would do. Purchased some fixings for dinner at the New World deli and market at the station.


In the afternoon we walked to Cuba Street an eclectic strip of boutiques and youth oriented shops. Could have purchased a great bong. Some time was spent looking for a pair of fingerless gloves for Donna. She bought a pair in Taupo then lost them somewhere around Napier.




We got up early to turn in our car and board the ferry. It was confusing to bring the car to the ferry terminal. All we were supposed to do was to lock the car and drop the keys in a box in the terminal. Because we had ordered a Plus ticket we were in the Kaitaki Plus lounge where we were served breakfast and later some mini quiches. The ferry transports people, their cars, and some very large trucks carrying farm equipment and, if my nose is correct, cattle or sheep. Despite being on the ocean, I never was able to detect the ocean salt air that is so familiar in Oregon.


The trip took about three hours and we arrived at the port of Picton on the South Island about noon. I was able to pick up our Hyundai at the Avis counter while Donna waited for bags. Then we were off on a 330 kilometer drive down south to Christchurch. The drive took us through green hills on which thousands of acres of grapes have been planted. This is a major New Zealand wine growing area. The hills were green but not the dark green we found up north. The road swerved over to the coast where it was very curvy slowing us and the large trucks down. It was surprising to look south along the road with the Pacific Ocean on the left and green hills and snow capped peaks on the right.


Once off the coast the roads picked up more traffic as we approached Christchurch which had suffered a major earthquake a couple years ago. The area is very flat and despite Donna's navigation we became hopelessly lost until we asked a woman walking by some directions to Riccarton Road. We were not too far off. But, because the town is relatively flat, we could not see any landmarks.


The Lorenzo Motor Lodge is in an area west of a large park. On the east side of the park is the central business district which suffered the brunt of the earthquake. We walked to a grocery a few blocks away and saw one stone church with huge metal braces supporting its wall. Across the street a Buddhist temple was closed for earthquake repairs. The blocks around our motel is very Chinese-oriented with many restaurants and food stores catering to that clientele.

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