Day before leaving Wellington

Travelling period: June 2015, I was 10 years old

Before we slept last night, we went to the Mt. Victoria Peak to see Wellington at night. However, Mommy said the view was not that nice because it was already very dark and it was so cold and windy. So we decided to go today after doing our usual routines and having our breakfast at Hotel’s Restaurant.

_DSC6974 Day before leaving Wellington

In fact, mommy was right! We were able to take nicer pictures with the better view and it wasn’t that chilling cold anymore.

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For today’s itinerary, first we would be returning our car . Then we would spend lunch at the busy Cuba Street. This is near we parked our car the day we bought our tickets for FIFA. Then we would be spending the rest of the day at Te Papa Museum.

_DSC7020 Day before leaving Wellington

As we were retuning our car, which was sad, we had a small problem as we could not find the car rental building. At first, we drove through a town but found no sign of their building. We all wondered because we were just following the GPS instructions. We decided to go to a parking lot where the other car rental companies were located except ours. There was no sign of our car company’s logo. So, we decided to contact the company. The staff was really nice, she asked one of her other staff to fetch us from where we were.

After all this confusion and a short wait, a man came in company’s uniform and drove the car to where they really were. After signing all the forms and documents, we were given a lift to the Te Papa Museum by the same staff. The drive was quite short and we reached in no time. Outside the museum, I was amazed with a sight of an airplane with its cockpit only. We queued and went inside the cockpit. After spending sometime, we had lunch and got ready to explore Te Papa Museum!

At the counter we had to leave our bags and jackets. We went in the exhibit called the Memories of the Gallapoli War. The first wax statue was in lying position and was pointing his pistol at someone. The second was a doctor helping one of the wounded. I felt sorry for the dead soldier. The third was a soldier eating his meal. It was small can with mushy food inside. I felt sorry for their food supply lines during that time. The forth person was a machine gunner firing at the enemy troops approaching. I realized bravery is important when being a soldier. The last person I saw is a nurse crying when she realized her friends were dead during the war. I felt sorry for her.

 

Before we left the exhibit. I wrote a good memory and left the exhibit in sorrow. Then we moved to another exhibit and spent sometime there.

It was almost dark when we left the museum. We bought our dinner at the New World supermarket and had our dinner in our hotel overlooking the beautiful view of Wellington Harbour.

_DSC6849 Leaving Napier

Third Last Day in New Zealand

Travelling period: June 2015, I was 10 years old

As a new day began, I woke up in happiness as we got ready to have breakfast at the hotel’s 101 Restaurant. After completing our usual routines, we left our room and headed to the restaurant which was just a few levels below our room.

After eating our great breakfast, I asked about the itinerary for the day. Mommy told me that we would be going to Hutt Valley to explore some hot spots where a few scenes of the Lord of the Rings was filmed, and the fun part was, I would be going to have a go-kart driving experience. We would first visit this place where Rivendell was shot. But, before all this, while driving on the highway, we saw a very peaceful lake with a few ducks around. We stopped to take some pictures so we at least have some memories captured.

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At the Hutt Valley, we drove to their i-site centre. Inside the i-site, there was a photo and video exhibit of the 50 Greatest Photographs of National Geographic. Their exhibit gallery was quite amusing, stunning and some are devastating! The gallery showcased Afghanistan refugees and nature.

Once ready, we left i-site and drove through a narrow road and parked near a bridge that was barricaded. At first, we thought it was closed. But, when we asked a man if the place was open for visitors, he said it was so we went through the barricade in relief. However, when we arrived at the location, we just saw a sheltered wall. So we just used our imagination to picture the Rivendell where the elves lived. Mommy told us that “maybe” they destroyed the other buildings that they built there for environmental reasons. So, with that surprising event, we sadly took a few pictures by the forest. But we were also able to see some things in this place. We went to the river to play with the ducks and practice throwing of stones on a river. We continued our walk to a foot bridge. At first it was scary because the bridge was just hanging so any movements would make it shake. It was quite fun though!

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Before lunch, we drove to the Go Kart. However when we arrived it was closed! So, we left in sadness. Back to the Hutt Valley town, we were feeling hungry. So, we had a casual lunch at a cafe before we continued our journey. We also explored some of the shops before leaving the town .

We continued our drive to Great River Anduin. When we arrived, I found the place boring, there was not really anything, just a river! However we could not afford to  waste time as it was going to rain. Daddy snapped some photos and we left.

_DSC6957 Third Last Day in New Zealand _DSC6958 Third Last Day in New Zealand

We had a stopover at a park called Avalon Park. I played with a little kid (I guess he was about 4 years old) all around the playground. It was a lot of fun. Especially the flying fox. To try this, first you need to jump onto the seat and you will enjoy the ride along the zipline.

As it was sunset, we headed to our last hotspot in Petone. It was a water fountain which provides artisan water. It is called Puna Wai Ora (Spring of Life). When we arrived, some locals were already refilling their bottles. We refilled our empty water bottles. While still there, we were really curious to taste the water immediately. It tasted delicious. It had a different taste from normal water or even bottled spring water. We took lots of it and left. How I wish our water in Singapore tasted like that.

_DSC6960 Third Last Day in New Zealand

After eating dinner at Domino’s my favorite pizza. We went back to our hotel.

The Second Day in Wellington (Part 2)

Travelling period: June 2015, I was 10 years old

Finding back our car was a bit tough because we had to rely on our memory. Luckily we have all good ones. This was it! I was finally getting my tickets for the soccer match! We headed to the train station as our next stop to buy the tickets. We had our lunch first before we bought our tickets. When we arrived at the ticket counter at the Train Station, to our disappointment, the store ran out of tickets. So we had to go to the stadium. Fortunately, it was just a 10-minute walk way from the train station. The seller told us that we just need just pass by the platforms and and follow the direction arrows. My heart was pumping fast! I was worried that I might miss the opportunity to watch the match. I just made a wish. When we arrived at the ticket counter finally, I was glad to know that they still had tickets! My wish came true!

It was quite early for the match so we decided to go back to the car and do some window shopping. After an hour or two of waiting in vain, we got back to the stadium and went through the security. I did a few activities outside the stadium like free kicks and face painting.

As we entered the arena, the players starting to warm up for the big game. I just watched the as they performed their interesting skills as I drank my soft drinks under the shining hot sun!

_DSC6909 The Second Day in Wellington (Part 2)

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At 4.30pm the match finally began, starting with the ceremony and all that. As time passed, it was starting to be a scoreless draw. However, one of the strikers from the team Senegal scored a goal at the seventy-first minute. So our predictions were wrong! And it was all lost for team Uzbekistan since there was only eleven minutes left. But they didn’t give up. They tried their best until to the last seconds of the game.

As the referee blew his whistle to announce that the match has ended, all the players shook hands to show sportsmanship. We left the stadium in happiness.

Before ending our tiring, long and exciting day, we had a family dinner at mom’s friend’s house. It’s quite near from the stadium, we drove less than 15 minutes to reach their place. We reached their place around 7pm and it was already quite dark. For the first time in my life I saw the most number of stars ever! The glittering sky was beautiful!

When they opened their door, I shared the flags that I’ve gotten from the stadium to their kids. Their names are Macoy, Mira and Marcus. In no time, we started to play their Xbox games. Though many of the games were about fighting, surprisingly I enjoyed them. I also got a chance to play with their pet dog. I guess he liked me since he licked me before we left their house. We had a wonderful dinner and I had a great time playing with their kids!

_DSC6927 The Second Day in Wellington (Part 2) _DSC6928 The Second Day in Wellington (Part 2)

The Second Day in Wellington (Part 1)

Travelling period: June 2015, I was 10 years old

As our last days in New Zealand begin, we woke up to a good start with the beautiful view of the harbour! Our itinerary for the day was: (1) we would go and have a breakfast at a Farmer’s Market, (2) go to Wellington’s i-site centre to buy our FIFA tickets; (3) take the Wellington Cable Car which is actually a funicular railway up to the Wellington Botanical Gardens; (4) watch an exciting football match; and lastly (5) visit mommy’s friend.

After doing our usual routine, we left our hotel and walked to the Farmer’s Market which was by the busy Wellington Harbour. My mom gave me $10 for me to choose and buy my own breakfast from the stalls. I bought two types of croissant from two different stalls. After eating my breakfast, I roamed around and saw some performers around. My mom also checked the fruits and vegetables that were unusual to her and took photos of it.

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Once our explorations around were done, we went back to get our car. Getting a parking space in Wellington was total chaos since there was no parking space available near the i-site. We had no choice but to park the car further from our destination.

The walk was about 15 minutes to the i-site. When we arrived and opened the door a statue of an Orc surprised us all! After the scary moment, we asked the tour guide there if they were selling the tickets for the football. Sad to say they weren’t! I was disappointed and wanted to go directly to the Stadium as instructed by the guide before going to Botanical Garden. I was so upset and not in the mood to go to our next destination.

As I acted as a navigator during this trip, I did my job again on the busy streets of Wellington. I experienced how busy this city could be. As I’m a good at it,  we soon saw a logo of the cable car, we turned left and entered a dark alley and arrived at the ticketing office of the cable car. While mommy was getting  tickets, my dad and I hurried to buy water for us.

At the tram platform, we boarded a tram which started running a few minutes later. On a hill at the end of the track, we alighted and started exploring. As I checked the map of the area, Mommy told us that we would walk to specific points only. At the back of my mind,  I was still thinking about the FIFA tickets. I was worried that I might not able to watch the match! But I convinced myself to move forward and suddenly felt excitement on what to come. As we walked downhill and uphill, my mom allowed me to climb a tree like some of the other kids. She told me when she was young she could climb a tree very fast. So after my climbing tree experience, we continued our walk towards the Children’s Play area. My parents let me again to play for a while. Then we continued towards the Treehouse and Lady Bee. After this two points we went back to the cable car.

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Our Last and Final Stopover (Day 1 at Wellington)

Travelling period: June 2015, I was 10 years old

As my Mom and Dad checked in, I asked the other receptionist as there were two at the moment. I was eager to know more about the FIFA U-20 World Cup as we planned to watch it during our stay here in Wellington. I wanted to reconfirm what we saw from the internet about the match that would take place in the Wellington Regional Stadium (also known as WestPac Stadium).

I asked her also how we could book tickets while Mom and Dad were busy unloading our all luggages in our car. After helping me as much as possible, I thanked her for the great service. I told mommy about the prices for the seats and a few ways to reserve the seats as we went up towards to our room.

When we arrived at our room we saw the beautiful bay of Wellington Harbour. While I was exploring the room my Dad took pictures of the sunset. My bedroom was separated from my mom and dad’s bedroom. Actually it was just separated with the bathroom in between so we were still inside in one room. I felt unfair because the television was only in my mom’s and dad’s room. The balcony was huge because it was shared by all the guest in the whole level.

_DSC6834 Leaving Napier

As sunset came to an end, we left the hotel to look for a good place to have dinner. Unfornutely, our dinner was at the far end of the street. Even though the walk was a long distance, the dinner was delicious. I even forgot about the walk!

As the day ended, we did our bathroom routines and I watched a rugby match.

Leaving Napier

Travelling period: June 2015, I was 10 years old

It was a sad goodbye to Napier and Hastings as we got ready for the long drive to Wellington. The bad news was that our trip would be ending soon. My next adventure might be one year later or even more. But don’t worry! I’ll talk about how’s life like in Singapore. My homeland.

Here is our itinerary for the day. We’d have breakfast somewhere along the road, would stopover a wind farm near a busy city called Palmerston North for lunch. If there are no good opportunities there, we would go to the nearby towns and eat. After this, we would then go to one of two orchards to pick apples which we would eat later.

After checking out, we started our long journey through the fields, forests, hills, wind farms and mountain passes for the last time as we entered the capital city of Wellington after finishing our itineraries. I also tried to enjoy our car, although it had  a lot of disadvantages.

_DSC6782 Leaving Napier

As we saw what we usually saw in all our road trips, we hadn’t seen this one unique thing for one year or more. Wind mills and large population of sheep farms! Which mommy snapped some shots as the car drove. A few kilometres before arriving at Palmerston North, we found two good lookouts. One of them was along a mountain pass at SH3 (State Highway) overlooking the Manawatu River. The lookout is the start of the Manawatu Gorge track. Here, you can walk a 4-km loop track. However we didn’t try it because we heard a siren which we’re not sure for what. The second one was a lookout to a wind farm. According to Mr. Google, there are 158 giant turbines in this wind farm. This turbines help to generate electricity up 90 homes. We took some time to observe the majestic machines!

It took us around 5 minutes to reach the city centre of Palmerston North. Daddy went to do his business at one of the public toilets near a car park. We browsed the “TripAdvisor” website for a good place to eat. But we eventually couldn’t find the place in our GPS.

With that shock, we left the busy city and looked for a place along the road. We found a place to eat at a town near Leville. The name of the restaurant is Horseman Cafe. After our lunch, my mom visited a shop to the next cafe. It’s an antique and souvenir shop. She bought some old-English-designs dining wares for her food photography.

As we drove by SH1 as stated on our GPS, it did not remind us that we had already passed our stopover. So, we had to drive back a few yards but turning back was quite a challenge to Daddy our driver. It’s a busy road and quite hard to change to the opposite lane. My mom was also worried that the fruits might be on the same condition as what we’ve seen in Napier where most of the fruits were rotten and have dropped to the ground. I was afraid I would miss this fruit picking experience.

When we reached the orchard, the farmer said that we could still go fruit picking. We got an empty bucket near the entrance to the orchard. We actually still could pick apples even though the trees and fruits weren’t that bountiful. Though we only spent little time to explore the orchard, I still enjoyed this experience.

After the apple picking, we went back to the farm store where we paid for our picked red and green apples. We also bought some nicely looking apples from the stores.

As Daddy wanted to do his business again and this time badly, we headed to the nearest town. Unfortunately, we saw another antique shop before we saw any restroom. So daddy held his bladder while mommy browsed the store. Eventually, mommy found a few items in no time.  Within five minutes she was back in the car and allowed us to continue driving.

After finishing his business, we took off the 4th exit of a round-about not far away and had the one last push to Wellington. I actually realized that in New Zealand, you would only experience motorways near the biggest cities. Unlike Europe where they are everywhere.

As we merged into a busy road in Wellington called Greville road, we got stopped on our tracks by a short traffic jam. We saw our hotel and parked our car. We finally arrived at our last hotel, Copthorne Hotel Wellington in this trip. After checking in, we went to our room and I was surprised with the view. We had an amazing harbour view of Wellington from our balcony.

Our Second Day in Napier

Travelling period: June 2015, I was 10 years old

As a new, bright morning began, we did not really know what to do since we thought we already visited all the interesting places in Napier. However we realized that there were two national parks which we deduced were nearby.

To our dismay, the receptionist told us that both of them would need a long drive. We were a bit lazy to drive farther.  So, we decided that we should just visit a nearby reserve called Ahuriri Estuary. It is a long and narrow estuary with some birds flying around it. It is used by migratory birds as a feeding and resting area. Although we did not want to walk far from our car park because of the bone-chilling wind, I still tried to feed the birds there. But sadly, they did not want to be fed and were just flying around the place, so, I just left them alone.

_DSC6682 Our Second Day in Napier

Mommy promised before we left the hotel that I could play mini golf again! But this time, it would be a mini competition against my Dad. At first, I thought I was winning. But, as we reached the halfway point, daddy caught up with me. However, I did not give up and did my very best in the next 9 holes and reached the top spot!

After our fun game, we went for lunch at a cafe and headed back to our car. We decided to have a look around since we did not need to do anything else based on our itinerary. After a five-minute drive out of the city, we found a good place to take pictures which was covered with a good combination of red, orange and yellow of dead trees. I also heard a dog barking at me.

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Before ending our day, we went to a park called Anderson Park. Before starting my business feeding the ducks, I gave some of my bread to mommy for her to experience the opportunity. Unfortunately, the ducks and swans were very aggressive. My mom got scared and threw all her bread and ran to the car to hide. I was brave enough to feed them but they couldn’t control themselves most of the time. My dad decided to move to the other side of the park where ducks were calmer. After finishing all my bread and entertaining the ducks for a while, we went back to our hotel.DSC_1220 Our Second Day in Napier

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At the hotel, I played table soccer with a little boy. He was not so good so I tried to be patient to teach him. While we were playing his parents and my parents were talking about their life in New Zealand.