Back in February I set off with a cousin on a road trip from Taranaki up to the Waikato, across to the Bay of Plenty, over to Gisborne down to Napier and then home. We had an amazing time. Our first goal was to visit Hobbiton which is the Film set from Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. What an amazing place it was totally worth the entry price and exceeded my expectations. This set was rebuild for the Hobbit movies and this time the Farm owners requested that the Set be built of permanent materials in order for it to become a tourist destination. He worked with Sir Peter Jackson and his studio and it has been a triumph, also an economic success story for the Farm, Matamata and the surrounding area. It employs a large number of locals and draws tourists from around the world. Every detail is carefully crafted the clothes line for example came up to my knees and the clothes were all in proportion.It was a grey drizzly day but as you can see we still got good photos.
From Hobbiton we drove to Tauranga and the following morning we headed over to visit family in Gisborne on the east coast of the North Island. This small city prides itself on being the first city to see the sun. Captain James Cook sailed into the bay in 1769 and as Cook was unable to gain many of the provisions he and his crew needed at the bay he gave it the name Poverty Bay. Now Poverty Bay is one of the more fertile areas of New Zealand and famous for its Chardonnay, fruit, vegetables and avocados, and abundant sunshine although we actually brought the rain from Taranaki with us. We had one fine day travelling over and then it rained. They needed it as it had been very dry but we wanted sun 😦 so not many photos.
After a great time with Family and touring wineries we headed of in the rain to Napier to meet up with my Sisters and Brother in Law for the Napier Art Deco festival. More on that in the next post.