Finishing Up New Zealand


We had a few more stops to make before we left New Zealand.  One was at a Kiwi Preserve.  We were not allowed to take pictures of the kiwi so what follows were taken at the exhibit.  I knew what a kiwi looked like, but I had never seen one.  I was surprised by their size.  They are about the size of a chicken. They are nocturnal creatures because that is the safest time of day for them to be out and about.  Less predators lurking about.  There are different types of kiwi, which I didn’t know.


As I said, these are not live kiwi, but display models.

You can see an egg in the middle picture.  As you can imagine, they are a good size.

After leaving the kiwi Preserve, we headed north to Auckland, our last stop in New Zealand. However, on the way we did make one more stop.  We were in New Zealand.  How could we not stop at the place Peter Jackson filmed the Hobbit movies? Yes, we stopped at Hobbiton.  I must admit that I had never read The Hobbit until about two weeks before our trip.  I did, however, read the Lord of the Rings trilogy many years ago and really got into it.  I was excited about this stop.

The scenery and views were magnificent.  I can see why this spot was picked for the movies.

Let’s stare with Bilbo’s Hobbit Hole.


Of course, since this was a community there were other dwellings as well.

When is a tree not a tree?  Peter Jackson was not happy with a tree that was on site so he had this tree made.  It is not a real tree, but one that had been constructed for maybe a 10 second shot in just one movie.  Genius or insane?  You decide.


Notice the wash on the line.

The tour of Hobbiton ended with a stop at the Green Dragon for a free drink: ale, hard cider, or soft drink.


Here are just some pics of the countryside.

OK, so Kathy and I got into one of the pictures as well.

Since we started with Bilbo’s home let’s end with Sam’s.a22

We left here and made our way to Auckland. We had two days here.  One day we went, where else, to a winery: Peacock Sky Vineyards.  I guess it got its name because it was at the top of a hill.


This large chess set got my attention.


Of course there was wine tasting.

As I said, we were at the top of a hill.  Check out these  views.



The last we did in Auckland was visit the Sky Tower.


This gave us a bird’s eye view of the city.

Our tour coordinator, who doesn’t have a fear of heights was not comfortable up here.  She held on for dear life. Her fear was that if everyone came to this side of the tower to watch the bungee jumper –  yes, you could bungee jump from the tower – the tower would lean an fall over.


One thing I thought was neat was that they had clear inserts in the floor around the inside perimeter so that you could see what was directly beneath you.


Since it was getting dark when we left the tower I just couldn’t resist this parting shot.


This ends our Australia/ New Zealand trip.  On the way home we stopped at Fiji for some R & R.  More about that next week.


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12 responses to “Finishing Up New Zealand

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your trip. I loved the photos of hobbit homes and found the constructed tree story fascinating! I can’t wait until next week to see what R&R in Fiji looks like.

  2. Looks like you had another fantastic travel experience! I would not enjoy looking down from that height, though. Love the hobbit houses.

  3. lindabaie

    Another terrific post of your time, Bob. Wow, it was magical! If the kiwi are about the size of chickens, I wonder why the eggs are bigger? I re-read The Hobbit every few years & love all of Tolkien’s work. It’s terrific that you got to visit Hobbiton and see the “sights”. And that tower is really something, seems a bit medieval looking. There is that bridge near the Grand Canyon with glass parts so you can look straight down, amazing to see. I’m glad your trip was so filled with wonderful sights!

  4. Oh, to visit Hobbiton! You had an amazing trip, Bob, and thank you for sharing the experience with us in such a detailed and entertaining way.

    • Movie magic is something. Some of the hobbit holes were tiny so that when Gandalf stood next to them he seemed the giant he was portrayed to be. I am so glad we got a chance to stop there.

  5. I think I could live happily in a hobbit hole. Is is because they are nocturnal that you couldn’t photograph the kiwis?

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