Tuesday, April 17, 2018

New Zealand: "Returning" home to Hobbiton


Ahhh... I planned to finish up my New Zealand stories before taking this hiatus (it is the studying/exam period again) but I didn't write as fast I as planned, hence the long break even though the trip itself was only a week long. Exam is done (I won't know of the results till much later) but now let me finish the NZ stories.

Between the two islands in New Zealand, the southern counterpart is more popular as travel destination but most of my friends lived in the North Island. Before I read up on North Island, the only place I have on my list to visit was this - Hobbiton. In fact, I could enter the house without bending over (the one opened to public for entry). My friends joked that it felt like I returned home to Hobbiton.


All visits to Hobbiton are via guided tour. We wanted to get the one from The Shire's Rest which is where the movie set is located but the tickets were already out of sale. Little P got us tickets from Matamata I-Site which meant that instead of going directly to the movie set, we had to detour to the I-Site and hopped on one of the LOTR buses to get there. Same price for both though. Little P assumed the heavy responsibility of getting us there on time, no thanks to our failed lunch location at which no food at sight even after 40 minutes (we ended up having to get them to change to takeaway instead of eating in). Food wasn't great either, not recommended, so I won't mention here.


Our assigned guide joined us at The Shire's Rest stop before we made our way to the start of the tour. He was pretty good and entertaining, cracking cold jokes along the way like...

Question: Why do you not borrow money from Hobbits?
Answer: Because they are always short... *insert flying crows* (but I do find them funny... haha)

It was a pity that some times we can't hear him because of open space and crowd. We were one of the last few groups but it was a busy time, despite everybody is moving in group but we had to take turns to take pictures, etc, so there were times where we had to play catch up. Not to mention, it started pouring at some point and only MMC came equip with umbrella, rain jacket and rain coat! You'll see from the photos that it was sunny, then gloomy then sunny again. Ha!

Not all of the houses can be entered, many were just with a closed door.


Mini clothes line with mini clothes

If my memory didn't fail me, the tree at the back is a fake one too
This one is opened to be entered!
All these props were chained down... yes, you cannot steal them
En route to Green Dragon for a complimentary drink


I was telling my travel mates I was ready to spend some money at the souvenir shop but sad to say that the souvenir shop at Hobbiton is sub par. There were not a lot of varieties in the merchandises on sale, even the standard fridge magnets didn't catch my eye. Umm.. but well, I got a free beer.


Side note: Is "Closed for Renovation" the code word for closing down or not continuing the business? I've seen so many shops putting out "Closed for Renovation" sign and they don't re-open again for months :-?

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