New Zealand Diaries #8 (Courtesy Laura McCullough)

New Zealand part 6: a quiet day

3 Jan. Late and lazy morning. It is so nice to be settled in one room for a few days! Eat, do some laundry. Outside it is very windy, maybe 30-40 mph gusts. And then it starts raining. We enjoy a slow morning in our room. Today we want to find the WETA Cave. Rain, wind, rain, wind.

Our phones lead us easily and directly to WETA. There are 3 giant trolls in the yard, along with a lizard. All fake, of course. The WETA Cave is a smallish storefront with a room they call a mini-museum. The place is jampacked with people. Here is the expensive LOTR/Hobbit loot: the collectibles. We buy a guidebook to LOTR locations, and a gift for a friend. (No spoilers for the lucky friend!) There is a 25 minute video screening, but there are just too many people to make it worthwhile right now. The “Window into WETA” tours are all booked for today, so we book for 1000 tomorrow. Our tickets are free thanks to a certain fellow author making some introductions for us. Kelly leaves thank you books for the folks at Pukeko who arranged it.

On to find lunch; it’s about 14:00. We try Newtown, between WETA and downtown. It’s a bit dodgy, nothing is both open and able to feed me. So it’s back to the hotel. Someone is in our allotted parking space (our carpark–the gall!), so we have to steal someone else’s space and sort it our with the hotel staff. Walk around downtown looking for lunch. Our hotel is a block off the main drive (Courtenay) and there is a lot around. But many places close from 1500 to 1700 between lunch and dinner. Find an organic food store, see the outside of the Te Papa museum. We end up at Public for lunch–great food! Bramble’s blackcurrant cider is quite delicious. I have bean nachos and Kelly has soft tacos. Tasty.

We decide to spend a few hours at Te Papa museum. We could have spent several days there. Earthquake exhibit, volcanoes, Maori, flora, fauna. The Colossal Squid exhibit was pretty amazing; doesn’t look like any squid I’ve seen before. There was a hallway with a bizarre fashion exhibit and videos from the fashion show: WoW (not the ejaculation, but that was the name of the show). Really amazing stuff!

At 1800 we are very firmly herded out to the doors. Stop at the organic food store for dinner (GF carrot cake!) and back to the room. Our feet are hurting today from lots of walking. We sit in our lounge area and try the Lothlorien Feijoa wine. It is a white fruit wine with a strange but good taste. Hop online to try to book a Wellington-area LOTR tour for 5 Jan. Crash early.

NZ Travel Diary #1

NZ Travel Diary #2

NZ Travel Diary #3

NZ Travel Diary #4

NZ Travel Diary #5

NZ Travel Diary #6

NZ Travel Diary #7


I’ve been traveling in Hawaii and New Zealand and will be posting links to the pictures soon.

Whenever we travel my wife does a travel diary while I take most of the pictures. I use her notes as my references for later use for books and other things. She has been gracious enough to allow me to share them here on my site for those who are interested.