My dream holiday – New Zealand – Part One

One year ago to the day I arrived back in the snowy UK after a wonderful 3 weeks in New Zealand, so to celebrate that anniversary, I thought I’d share some memories 😀

My dream holiday might not be to everybody’s liking, but I am a great LOTR fan, and the chance to visit many of the wonderful locations was too good an opportunity to miss – quite apart from the fact that some of these wonderfully scenic places are not accessible to the general public – you have to be with an organised tour. So I picked the company that does the most extensive range of tours, and I was not disappointed. I’d recommend Red Carpet Tours to anyone!

Bearing in mind that the first part of The Hobbit had only come out 2 weeks before we flew, we were delighted to discover how much New Zealand has taken to heart its new identity as Middle Earth. We flew with Air New Zealand – take a look at their safety briefing:

At Auckland airport we entered the building through a hobbit hole round door 🙂

So to the holiday proper. We saw so very much that its difficult just picking the highlights, but here are a few.

Starting in the north of North Island, day 1, New Year’s Day was spent in Hobbiton 😀


A hobbit hole of my own!

A hobbit hole of my own!

The Green Dragon serves its very own ale and cider

The Green Dragon serves its very own ale and cider

Inside The Green Dragon

Inside The Green Dragon

Disabled toilet!

Disabled toilet!

Next we went to Rotarua, an area of hot sulphur springs which of course, demanded time for soaking in the hot pools.



At some point during the night we stayed there the smell became so strong I don’t think any of us slept through it, and the next day we were warned against walking anyplace that steamed.

A quick stop at Lake Taupo to see Huka Falls – and although we didn’t get to try out the jet boat, looking at this I reckon I’d have lost my breakfast anyway

before getting up close with an active volcano with smoke rising from two vents, near to Mt. Ruapehu, which doubled for Mordor, Emyn Muil and Mount Doom.


We couldn’t go there without doing the classic ‘Frodo and Sam hiding from the orc troop in Morodor’ pose


and finishing the day at this spectacular waterfall. You can just make out someone standing at the top – that’s where Andy Serkis as Gollum chased his fish in the pool in The Two Towers – being very careful not to fall over the edge!


Next day, by which time I was feeling exceedingly ill – something I caught on the aircraft, I reckon – I wasn’t up to joining in the ‘fun’ (I did, in fact, throw up twice – not fun at all) , but still, I did watch some of the others fling themselves into things at Gravity Canyon – literally.

This one is called a ‘canyon swing’

And this is the Flying Fox

You might recognise the canyon as the River Anduin, which the Fellowship paddled down after the farewell from Galadriel, near to the end of the Fellowship of the Ring.

Looks like this is going to turn into a 3-part post – be back for more tomorrow 🙂

How about you – been to NZ? LOTR fan? Tell me about it.


  1. New Zealand is on our bucket list. A niece of ours spent 18 months there before starting university and – she loved it.
    We are LOTR fans! The trilogy is a must (at least every other year). 🙂


    1. Oh at least!
      And make sure you prioritise NZ – it is so worth it. The scenery is so vast and varied, the people really friendly and the food is divine.
      I certainly plan on doing it again- when I can afford to!
      Thanks for dropping in, next instalment coming right up 🙂


  2. […] In fact, on my awesome holiday to New Zealand (if you’ve missed the posts you can find them here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), which is, of course, where Xena was filmed, I was […]


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