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.
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.