Picking up from my post a couple of days ago, here’s the second part to my recent week in New Zealand.
The fourth day in New Zealand brought something I was very much excited about visiting before going there – Hobbiton! A farm which was transformed into the Shire for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. The owner of the farm where the set is has done very nicely out of the whole deal, and right now must be raking it in as thousands of people a day flock to this attraction and get a somewhat rushed 90-minute tour of the Shire. Fact is, though, we’re only there for the photos!
In the afternoon we spent a few hours at the Rotorua Museum which is really an interesting place. There’s quite a bit on Maori history and that of the region including the 1886 eruption. The building itself looks rather Tudor in style, although it was built around the turn of the century and was a bath house where all manner of strange treatments took place. You can discover the history of the building too.
The fifth day in New Zealand was strangely I guess the most relaxing. We took a us from Rotorua in driving rain to Auckland. It was a 700 metre slug uphill to get to our hotel in the pouring rain. Later in the evening we went out and watched a movie.
Auckland was all abuzz on the Sunday for the Santa Parade. No, seriously. However, we took a ferry out across the bay past beautiful Devonport to Rangatoto Island where there is a volcano. It was a 297 metre peak and it took me and my extremely unfit body a good hour to get to the top. There were also some interesting lava caves to explore.
Back to Auckland I went up the Skytower, reputedly the highest tower in the Southern Hemisphere where they have people jumping from the top, assisted by wires, and then I checked out the charming Auckland University before the sun went down. Yes, I was pretty tired by evening time.
The last day was soon upon us, needing to be at the airport before 4pm we still had time to check out the Museum of Technology and Transport (MOTAT) amongst a sea of young students. A great collection of aeroplanes was the highlight, but we also learnt a little of the history of Auckland too. We were surprised to see a number of Melbourne trams as well!
And then it was to the airport and home. Such a short trip and I didn’t get to a few places I wanted to – Redwood Forest in Rotorua and the Maritime Museum in Auckland for example.
New Zealand had proven an amazing, beautiful place to travel. I’ve only had a taste, but I’m sure I will return, hopefully with more time. You’ll be seeing reviews of places I visited and stayed over the next month or so, not to mention airline reviews. Thanks for reading, and May the Journey Never End!