Friday, September 21, 2018

Hobbiton, New Zealand Recap - June 2017

Tomorrow is apparently Hobbit Day - Bilbo & Frodo's birthday - so I thought, what better time to share that time I went to New Zealand and Hobbiton? I have been meaning to share our NZ trip ever since we went, but life. So this Hobbit Day prompted me to get off my lazy butt and post about that trip. I've already shared Auckland and Queenstown, but Hobbiton deserves its own post. I'm only a year and 3 months late.

So. If you are not a LOTR fan, this post will probably be very boring to you. If you are a LOTR fan, this post may still be boring to you. If you are me, you will delight in this post for years to come, so at least there's that.

There are a few ways you can visit Hobbiton, it's about a 2 hour drive from Auckland. We decided on doing an early morning tour with Bush and Beach. More expensive than the normal day tours, but you get there earlier than other visitors, it's a smaller group, you get to have breakfast and you're back in Auckland mid-afternoon, which was better than getting back late. I just feel like we pack more in when we get up earlier. So. I highly recommend if you are interested in going to Hobbiton. The weather was kind of drizzly but as you can see, didn't dampen our enjoyment at all.

I know it's basically just a lot of photos of us in front of really small doors, but it was a ton of fun.

Like I said, it included breakfast at The Green Dragon. It was like a mini buffet and I think we also got a free drink or two.

Also, there was a kitty and she was the most adorable kitty in the country. I always find cats that hang around businesses like this so interesting, my cats would 100% hide and have a heart attack if so many people came up to them daily. I know the cats get used to it, but they must have started as kittens, you'd think anyway.

On the way back in Auckland we stopped and got ice cream. Delish.

So on our NZ trip, we went to Hobbiton and a LOTR scenic tour in Queenstown. I'd say we've gotten our fill of LOTR themed tours and trips for at least 5 years. Kidding. I've mentioned before I wish I'd have gone to NZ when I lived in Oz, especially when they had all the sets up (not just Hobbiton), but I didn't, obviously. Good thing I can see them any time I want, just gotta watch the movies, right?

Thank you for sticking around if you did, again, I really just do these for myself because I love looking back and seeing how much fun we had, but it doesn't hurt if someone else gets some joy out of it too.

Fun fact - obviously we are LOTR fans and had a grand ol' time at Hobbiton... but I've not actually seen any of the Hobbit movies. KC has because he likes to hate watch things (he's weird). I've seen the LOTR movies a million times (queued up on Boxing Day 2003 for Return of the King, zero shame) and I've read the books a few times. I've only read the Hobbit once though. The movies do have Richard Armitage in it... but still. I haven't and can't see myself watching them anytime soon.

Erm, any LOTR fans out there?

Monday, September 17, 2018

Queenstown, New Zealand Recap - June 2017 - Part 2

Like I mentioned in part 1, I don't really like to split up travel posts if I can help it, but we took a lot of photos in Queenstown that I wanted to share (mainly so I could look back on them!) so it needed to be done.

The last post covered Queenstown and Milford Sound. This post I'll share what LOTR related things we did in Queenstown (because o' course!) and some other stuff we did before we headed home to Australia.

Our next day in Queenstown, we did a LOTR scenic tour. It was fun as a LOTR fan for obvious reasons, but even if you're not a fan, I recommend because the scenery was gorgeous! It was also really small, there was only one other couple and they actually flaked on going on a lot of the walks, which.. whatever. The guy was SO nice and they fed us lunch and gave us coffee/tea.

I will spare you most of the comparison pictures, if you are a fan of the movies, you may recognise a few areas, but if not hopefully you just like the scenery.

taters precious

After the LOTR tour ended, we went to lunch at an irish pub, which was fantastic. Then we just wandered around and I continued to take a million photos because I couldn't get over the beauty. Oh, and there was ice cream.

And possibly my favourite part of Queenstown...

Only kind of kidding. I think we went there every day though.

On our last day in Queenstown we had planned a mix of fun and relaxing. You may or may not have heard that Queenstown is the adrenaline capital of the world. I would not be opposed to jumping out of a plane, probably would have enjoyed it more 10 years ago, but KC was 100% against it. Plus it was super expensive. There are tons of other options of course, but in the end we decided on white water rafting, tame in comparison but fun. Unfortunately, it was cancelled due to not enough people and they didn't give me enough notice to join another one. Womp womp. So we just wandered around some before before heading over to our second activity of the day, Onsen hot pools.

The hot pools were super relaxing and we really enjoyed them. The views are great and we were overlooking where the shotover jet runs. Should have done that instead of white water rafting, oh well.

Then we went to this place, where you can try a bunch of different wines, KC's idea. This is the trip I got back into wine, like for real and not just drinking it while trying not to make a face. We had a lot of good wines that don't have that awful kick at the end, which I didn't know was possible. Everyone's tastes are different of course, but it opened my eyes like oh you can actually enjoy wine. I also got hooked on cider this trip, but not until Australia.

Then it was goodbye New Zealand, hello Australia.

Any LOTR fans out there? Or have you ever done a tour like that, centered around a book/movie? I remember my first trip to England, I went on one of those hop on hop off buses, I think, and we saw the door that was used for the apartment in Bridget Jones. I think that stuff is super neat, but LOTR is probably the only thing I'd specifically go on a tour for.. Okay, Harry Potter too. Maybe Miss Fishers? I'd totally go on a Jane Austen tour.. You?