Monday 3 December 2018

Have an Adventure - part 1, Visiting Hobbits

Last week, before we came to New Zealand, we went to see Simon Reeve, talking about his life, his adventures and his latest book   Simon is lovely bloke, very friendly and kind, exactly the guy you see in his BBC documentaries.  The big takeaway I have from Simon’s talk is set out to have adventures.  Don’t just drift through life, letting it pass you by.  Go to the unusual places; take the risk that you might be uncomfortable; see things that your friends haven’t. 

In some respects, that’s how I’m trying to live this holiday, having adventures.  Sunday, we braved the heights and went up the Skytower in the centre of Auckland.  The view is amazing.

As are the windows in the floor of the viewing tower and in the floor of the lifts.  Although the glass is very strong and thick, you can’t help but try to not walk on it.

Monday, we went a beachside cafe at Takapuna, to have lunch with our friends.   We weren’t the only ones enjoying the food.

Everywhere we go, the sparrows are fearless.  They even entered the cottage in Rotorua.

Tuesday, we went on a winery tour on Waiheke Island, taking the ferry across Auckland Harbour from the iconic Ferry Building.  The nicest of the wines were at Casito Miro, where the photo below was taken.  We bought a bottle of their fortified “Madame Rouge”.   (Alas, the bottle is now empty...)

Wednesday, we drove to Rotorua via Matamata and a place straight out of fantasy.

Yes.  We visited Hobbiton.  First constructed for Lord of the Rings, the 12 acre site sits in the middle of a working sheep and cattle farm.  The original film set was temporary and the farmer was surprised when people started knocking on his door asking to visit the Hobbit holes, soon after the film’s release.   At that point, they only had 4 Hobbit holes remaining out of 30+.  When Peter Jackson went back to film The Hobbit, this time they made the holes permanent.

Hobbiton is well worth the cost of the tour.  We spent hours there, had lunch, did the tour, had a drink in the Green Dragon Inn and took a gazillion photos.  It is a fairytale oasis and it is virtually impossible to chose one photo to sum it all up.

- Pam. (Rotorua will have to wait for another post.)