So an early start leaving Waitomo with a whistle stop at a walk by the entrance of the caves which is good to stretch the legs, but not one of the most scenic walks as mainly a bush walk.
After the walk we head off to the next place Rotorua. The main activity for the day is visiting Hobbiton, which the whole bus is doinh and all pretty looking forward to. Not ever been on a movie set before as not usually one of the things tend to do, it is really a must do in NZ as such a big part of NZ now.
So the guided tour is booked for midday and even the check in place is cute with everthing looking like hobbit homes. Starting with a bus to where it starts, the farm area is hugevand crazy to think just one day while watching rugby Peter Jackson knocked on the door to ask to use it for the films. Then only after the Hobbit did they decide to leave the set and make it a tourist attraction as usually they tear it down.
Walking onto the set immediately you feel like in the shire and it’s done to such a high standard and detail. Apparently Peter Jackson is all about the detail. Most of the hobbit houses you can’t go in, so it’s just looking from the outside and a lot have such cool gardens with little props outside like chess tables, chairs, gardening tools, baskets, tables with food or even little tables with stuff to sell on them. So very cute and you really forget as you walk it’s a movie set.
There is a garden area with real grown vegetables and a scarecrow, so it’s very maintained. From here you can see most of the hobbit houses, which there is a lot and can see the most famous Bagins house with the big tree that is actually fake and leaves bought in from Taiwan. At the last minute apparently Peter needed to repaint the leaves green as noticed they faded by paying a load of uni guys to do.
We end up staying about 2 hours for the tour as it’s very busy. There is another group always on our tail as our group is so big and we take a lot of pictures it seems. It would have been nice to stay longer as the last part of the trip is a drink in the green dragon, which is so cool inside looking like a cosy english pub with a fire, leather seats and books. In one room there is flute music playing that totally transports you to the Shire. All very relaxing drinking the cider included, which they brew too and you can also get food there like ploughmans and soups that remind me of English pubs. Overall a good trip and pleased to have seen it, now making me keen to rewatch the films. We stay there just for 15mins and it’s nice group there hanging out with Sweden Ida, the english couple joe and anna and the welsh lads Harry and Alex.
Leaving there, nearly without people from the kiwi bus a guy from Holland called Gin and couple others, so it has to swing back round to pick them up, which was quite amusing. From Hobbiton we go straight to Rotorua arriving late afternoon on one of their buses rather than the kiwi bus.
22nd April 2016