Thursday: December 15th…Renewing a Friendship.

I arrived at Auckland Airport late afternoon. There I met my travelling mate Astrid, from the Tyrolean Tolkien Smial. We had met on two occasions before at Tolkien events in Europe and it was so good to see her again.


We hired a little car and after a very slow journey through the Auckland Peak Hour Traffic we arrived at our accommodation in the pleasant suburb of Devonport.

Friday: December 16th…Birthday at Hobbiton

An early breakfast and then we drove south to the rural town of Matamata. We travelled out to the Shire’s Rest and there we had a late morning tea. Today was Astrid’s Birthday and waiting for her was a surprise Birthday Cake and a surprise guest, Ian Brodie. Ian is the author of the Lord of the Rings Movies Location Guide Book. It was nice to see the surprise on Astrid’s face and she enjoyed herself thoroughly.

Ian and Astrid









We caught the bus down to the Hobbiton Movie Site. What a wonderful sight it is to see all the Hobbit Holes completed. They all look like you could live in them. This Hobbit would love to own one and take up residence.

The detail of each home is amazing. Little gardens with flowers, painted doors, trinkets and items on window sills, chairs and stools outside to sit on, vegetable patches, bee’s hives, clothes lines, fences and pathways. It all looks so lived in. They are all made with wood, stone and brick. These Hobbit Holes are here to stay for a long time.

Across the small lake is the stone bridge, the Mill and the Green Dragon Inn.  At the edge of the Party Field is the great Party Tree. And overlooking all on The Hill is the magnificent Bag Eng with its windows and green door with the brass door knob in the middle of it. Above Bag End is the oak tree. All so picture perfect.

We were able to take many awesome photos of the whole site, but unfortunately at this stage they cannot be published. One day we will see them all.

Afterwards we returned to the Shire’s Rest and spent more time chatting with Ian Brodie in what was an informative and pleasant time.

Our special thanks go to Ian and the staff at Shire’s Rest for the cake and the special time they gave us.

Saturday: December 17th…Southwards through the rain.

Today was a road trip south to Tongariro National Park. We drove through lots of showers on the way and they got steadier as the day went on. Our journey took us through pine forests, past Whakamaru Dam and west of Lake Taupo. We came to the shore of the lake at Waihi village, where we had a delicious desert overlooking Lake Taupo. It was here we saw hundreds of black swans and ducks on the lake and other water birds roosting in lakeside trees.

We continued south along the western edge of Tongariro National Park, but as the rain was now heavy and the clouds so low, there was little to see. It was a non-stop drive to Ohakune and our accommodation at the Powderhorn Chateau.


Late in the afternoon the weather lifted and we went up to Mangawhero Falls where Gollum’s Pool was filmed. This was where he chased a fish as Frodo and Sam watched on.


Part Two:

Gorges and Volcanoes…The Forgotten World…Taranaki.

To be continued….

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.