oceania places to go

Rotorua, NZ ’10

ย here’s another post from our super last minute new zealand trip in 2010. we posted a little teaser from hobbiton and now here’s a little something from rotorua. it’s a stinky town because of all of the thermal activity around there. on our way there, we had some lunch and we were laughing at the chicken flavored chips they had. the girl there wondered why we would laugh at that since she heard we had jalapeno flavored chips in the US.

right outside of our hotel room was a thermal hot spring! we saw it go off every hours or so. as we headed out of rotorua, we went to two thermal parks, waimangu and wai-o-tapu. we got a good deal getting into the parks because it had been raining non-stop since we left auckland and there was flooding on part of the trail. luckily they also had these nice large umbrellas for us to use like in hobbiton, we apparently were not prepared with our dinky little san diego umbrellas ๐Ÿ™‚

these two parks were huge and unfortunately because of the rain, we had a hard time taking photos…it was actually good practice for us to get the shot right the first time rather than having all the time in the world to take photos.

it was cool on the hikes that there were all these open places with the thermal activity but then we were also walking through forest, it was beautiful!

all of the places at wai-o-tapu were named after the devil and hell, we found where he lives!! run away! the funny thing was that there were all these dark names like devil’s ink pots, devil’s bath and inferno, but then there were also places like bridal veil and champagne as well.

love the detail in the rocks from all the bubbly acid over time.

such pretty colors from all the elements

at the end of the hikes we were soaked and actually got picked up by buses because of the flooding. i asked the lady if they ever worry about volcanoes or earthquakes. she said volcanoes but they usually have 2-3 weeks notice, that’s nice!!

we need to start finding vacation spots that don’t rain 100% of the time, i guess that’s due to our general poor vacation planning…oh well still fun!!

oceania places to go

‘Hobbiton’, New Zealand – ’10

so this is a story about how two people tend to be really really last minute with trip planning…and how this particular trip was so last minute that they didn’t even tell anyone they were going.

we were, in fact we were so busy with weddings in 2010 that our 9 days in a row that we had free that whole summer really crept up on us. so we talked about where we wanted to go [everywhere] and narrowed it down to peru and new zealand. peru is closer but when we priced them out, new zealand was much more affordable and faster to get to! so a week before we left, we bought our tickets and headed down under.

the photos below are a bit of a tease unfortunately because we can’t post many of our hobbiton photos until both the hobbit movies come out which i believe will be 2013…boo. ‘hobbiton’ is a working sheep farm in matamata. they found the location for the lotr movies by flying over it in helicopter. they asked the owner if they could work something out to use this as a set for the films. the neat thing is that the owner kept the ‘hobbit holes’ up for people to come visit. we expected to see what you see here, stripped down, but we got a real treat when we realized they were already dressing the set for the hobbit movies which is why we aren’t allowed to post the photos yet.

so we showed up after making a reservation for the tour and it was pouring rain…ya know…their winter. luckily they had boots for us to wear and better umbrellas than we had! turns out we were the only, yes the only people on the tour. this is not the first time i’ve accidentally had a tour all to myself but that’s another story. anyway, we awkwardly hopped in the tour bus and listened to an older man mumble in his kiwi accent for an hour or so as he led us through the town. we were able to wander out and go inside the houses (which i’ll post in two years if the world hasn’t ended). but then it got a little more awkward as we realized that the tour wasn’t over. since it’s a working sheep farm we got to have our very own personal sheep shearing demonstration! yippee. i even got to feed the lambs their bottles, hahaha. this was not our first experience with sheep on a trip either, but that’s another story…

our super nerdy van…just for the two of us and our tour guide, who used the microphone and speakers, haha

our tour guide showing us still frames from the lotr movies

the party tree!

time for sheep shearing…turns out the guy had been to the states a few times so we chatted about that before we got down to business

love his shoes, so authentic!

they are pretty cute, they wag their tails like dogs ๐Ÿ™‚

travel photography, new zealand, hobbiton, hobbiton new zealand, sheep shearing, travel portraits