journey commenced with a ride through Matamata, the area filmed
as Hobbiton in "Lord of the Rings". Here's me with Hobbiton
in the background! We then headed for Mt.
Maunganui. It was a beautiful place, and I was able to indulge
in a bit of arty photography!
We then moved to nearby Tauranga, where we stayed overnight.
day we headed for Rotorua, where we visited a village buried in
an eruption of Mt. Tarawera
in 1860's, which destroyed some beautiful
pink and white terraces. We also went around Lake
Tarawera for the stunning views. It was really interesting,
and we learnt that tourism had already started in New Zealand in
1840! There were some really interesting
facts, plus a walk around a beautiful
waterfall. We passed by two lakes, the Blue
Lake and Green Lake,
and read an interesting Maori
we went to Whakarewarewa, a living village in the middle of Hot
and mud pools. They even
bury their dead
in such an active area! It was really interesting with much more
vegetation than Yellowstone. There were also terraces
of minerals, as the water flowed to hot baths. As with any Maori
village, there was also a ceremonial
house. On the way to Taupo, we passed by Huka
Falls. Apparently, the volume of two Olympic sized swimming
pools passes over every second! We also got a view of Mt
Tarawera from a different angle.
Taupo must be stunning with Mt. Ruapehu in the background with blue
skies. Unfortunately, we did not have the sun! This
volcano erupted in 1995, and produced an amazing landscape.
This was used to film Mordor
in "Lord of the Rings". We then headed for Napier, passing
through some stunning
scenery, and a lovely
in Napier we visited the oldest
vineyard in New Zealand, The Mission, founded by French Monks.
The wine tasting was great fun! Whilst in the area we decided to
take a trip to a Gannet Colony at Cape
Kidnappers, but the weather defeated us. It blew a gale!
next day, we headed off to Wellington via Kaitoke Park, where the
scenes for Rivendell in "Lord of the Rings" were filmed.
We also passed by Lake
Wairarapa, and through the Hutt
valley. The Park was beautiful,
and you could see why it was chosen for Rivendell.
There were lovely Silver
Ferns, the emblem of New Zealand. The River
Hutt also had beautiful cascades.
We finally arrived in Wellington, where we saw a Sail
boat race. The weather was always murky whilst we were there,
including our departure.