Sunday, September 13, 2015

New Zealand 2015 Part 2 - Hobbiton and Taupo

Day 2
Auckland City to Hobbiton Movie Set

Hobbiton Movie Set was approximately 2.5 hours drive from Auckland City. The scenery was beautiful along the way. It was our first time seeing so many sheep and cows roaming around the big patches of grass on both sides of the road! I was beginning to like the other side, the real side, of New Zealand now!

Can you spot the animals?

Hobbiton Movie Set
Address: 501 Buckland Rd, Hinuera, Matamata 3400, New Zealand
Phone: +64 7-888 1505
Operating Hours: 9am - 5pm daily
Tour prices from the Matamata i-SITE: Adult $75.00, Youth (10-14yrs) $37.50, Child (5-9yrs) $10.00, Infant (0-4yrs) $ 0.00

No worries if you are driving there instead of taking their tour bus from your accommodation as parking is free and there are plenty of slots available. Also, the car park is right next to 2 different fences containing the sheep and cows separately!

Meh mehs

Moo Moos

Gandalf 'guarding' over the ticketing counter

Tour bus leading to the Hobbiton will depart every 45min. We did not book any tour prior to our arrival as one of my ex-colleague advised me that I can just purchase the tickets right at the counter and wait for the next tour. It cost us NZD 75 per pax, a little pricey we felt. But the price paid was to help in their maintenance of the Hobbiton so as to accommodate the huge number of visitors over the years and it's once in a lifetime experience! Who knows when we will return to Hobbiton?

Cafe, one level above ticketing counter

With great view

My hot chocolate

Our tour was 2.30pm and we boarded the bus around 2.15pm. It's just a short 5min drive to Hobbiton. Do wear comfortable footwear as it's a walking trail! You aren't going to be sitting on the tour bus throughout the tour.

Let's go!

Our female tour guide in her sunglasses
Just me pretending to do some laundry

Bench perfect for my size, should I be happy or sad?

Such cute honey jars!
Right sized for the little girl! How adorable! 

Frodo Baggins' house entrance

Featuring the 6-digit $$ tree with Frodo Baggins' house in Lord of the Rings

The place where the hobbits gathered in the movie
Onward to The Green Dragon™ Inn for a beer!

Bridge leading to The Green Dragon™ Inn

The Green Dragon™ Inn

Panoramic view of the lake next to The Green Dragon™ Inn on the right
One complimentary beer per pax, don't take the ginger beer if you don't like ginger!

Yup, the pictures above summed up our Hobbiton Movie Set tour. We enjoyed the 1.5h+ tour with the cute hobbit houses and of course the beer. We set off to Taupo once we got back to the main entrance where we parked our car.

It's another 1-2 hours drive from Matamata to Taupo, where our next accommodation was situated. As we drove, we witnessed our first sunset in New Zealand which was purplish-orange!

We stopped by a small eatery at Tokoroa, halfway in between Matamata and Taupo, to grab our dinner. The burgers were not impressive. =/

Lake Taupo Motor Inn
Address: 33 Kaimanawa Street, Taupo, New Zealand 3330
Contact:+64 7 378 5401

Our accommodation for the next 2 nights at Lake Taupo Motor Inn's Executive Suite with Jacuzzi. Did not have the chance to take good pictures of the suite as I was too tired from the journey. Oh yes, we were able to see many many hundreds thousands of stars from our balcony!!!!

Starry starry night, the best the my Canon PowerShot S100 could capture.

Due to personal reasons, I will not continue the rest of the parts. I hope to visit NZ again soon.

New Zealand 2015 Posts: 
Part 1 - Singapore to Auckland