Wow, where has the time gone. I can’t believe Father Winterveil is here and actually nearly gone.
The biggest thing I’ve been up to lately was when I went overseas for a holiday to New Zealand in November. It was absolutely amazing exploring around the North Island and sightseeing my heart out. We started at the top of the Island in Auckland and drove across and down the Island for a fortnight and flew out of Wellington at the very bottom of the Island.
It really was an absolutely beautiful country to visit. Coming from Australia where it’s really brown and dry, I couldn’t get over how green everywhere was.
We drove right past Mt Taranaki which was the most beautiful snow covered mountain. It was strange seeing all the snow on the mountain on a beautiful sunny day.
I made sure that we popped into the Hobbiton Set Tour. Seeing the hobbit holes up close was great! They are super cute. The tour includes lots of stories about how the movie is made which was really fascinating to hear.
One of the most fascinating things I saw though was the thermal springs. New Zealand has a great deal of geo-thermal activity and there are heaps of places where there are natural thermal springs. One of the places we went to was Hot Water Beach where at low tide you can dig in the sand and warm water (boiling in parts) comes up through the sand. It was lovely.
We even found boiling hot streams just dotted through the countryside. We were driving along and started to notice patches of steam rising from the ground. We stopped at one really big patch and found it was a natural hot spring stream.
We stopped at the thermal pools that the stream fed into for a swim. The pools were so hot, much hotter than what a normal bath I would have was, but it was amazing and so relaxing swimming around in the hot water. The next day my hair was so soft. I think if I lived near there I’d be bathing every day.
In Wellington the last thing tourist activity we did was to go to Weta Workshop, the company that does all the physical props for heaps of movies and TV shows including Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit.
Not unsurprisingly the hobbit influence is pretty strong throughout the country. There are some really beautiful Hobbit art pieces at Wellington Airport, Gollum and Gandalf.
Even though I saw so much, there is plenty of places I really want to go back and see and I never saw any of the South Island so I’m going to go back as soon as possible.