Hobbiton Tour, New Zealand: Review

11. Elf ears in HobbitonStepping onto the tour bus in Rotorua, I was somewhat skeptical as to what I would discover at Hobbiton. With a ticket costing more than $100, and as a huge Lord Of The Rings fan (my cats are christened Merry and Pippin), my expectations were high.

Now before I begin, I want to be very clear about what you cannot expect from Hobbiton:

  • You cannot step into Bag End and walk around Bilbo Baggins’ home. The inside of Bag End was created and filmed inside a movie studio in Wellington. This is because building a full-sized hobbit hole in the side of a hill, complete with room for filming and production crew, would have been a bit difficult.
  • There are no hobbits roaming around Hobbiton as they are fictional.

I say all of this because you will be amazed at how many people are astonished that Ian McCellan cannot fit into a hobbit hole and that there aren’t real-life actors walking around The Shire in full costume 24/7.

14. Yellow Hobbit Hole roses

4. Blue Hobbit House

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“Intercity Milford Sound Day Tour” Review + Is Milford Sound worth the visit?


I initially planned on hitch-hiking to Milford Sound, but I eventually decided that I just wanted to sit quietly and enjoy the scenery, and so I opted for the Intercity Milford Sound day tour.

The bus section of my tour was well worth the money – it was easier and less stressful than hitch-hiking and I had a fantastic guide. I was less impressed by the cruise in terms of its value for money as both the information and the tour were relatively basic.

Milford Sound is one of the most talked about destinations in New Zealand, creating impossibly high expectations. But, broadly speaking, I enjoyed the tour and I would definitely recommend that you pay the sound a visit, especially if you’re at all interested in geology.

If you have a pretty decent budget and don’t have your own transport, taking a tour is the way to go.

(Note: Costs and overall ratings of the tour are listed at the bottom of this post)

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Feel Good Blogging Challenge Day #3: How to Hitchhike (as safely as you can!)

how to hitch hike

(Make sure you read Days #1 and #2 of the Feel Good Blogging Challenge as well!)

Today’s challenge is to teach you guys how to do something. I thought that I would teach you how to hitchhike.

I won’t lie, there is something both awkward and terrifying about standing on a roadside by yourself with your thumb out, hoping for a complete stranger to give you a ride, but I do love hitchhiking.

Now, before we get into this tutorial, I would like to add that I am not advocating hitchhiking in every location and circumstance (I hitchhiked in New Zealand where hitchhiking is common place and arguably safer than other countries.) There is always the danger that something will go wrong every time you get into a car, and I completely understand why many people don’t want to take that risk and don’t like encouraging others to embark on a hitchhiking adventure.

However, how I hitchhike and how I try to minimize the dangers are questions that people always ask me. Especially because I am a young woman travelling alone.

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Everyday Wanderlust (Week 5) – 23.07.14


I have returned to the winter wonderland that is Queenstown where I have a new job. Whilst my bank account is looking happier, my 5am starts are leaving my mind and body a little worse for wear.


However, whenever I feel myself begin to slip into sadness or tilt towards tired melancholy, I only have to think for a moment about my future travel plans and my memories of travel adventures past, and suddenly I am ready for the road ahead.

So, centred on the ideas of self-growth and the love of travelling, here is my latest list of everyday happiness and cheer:

Read this excellent article, “How Travel Has Changed My Life”. I relate to pretty much everything that Lauren writes in this article, and it is the perfect example of why I personally love travel.

Remember that you work to live, you don’t live to work. Don’t believe me? Read Microsoft’s rambling redundancy letter to its employees.

Watch this awesome speech by author David Foster, “This is Water”. He speaks of stepping outside of our natural state of being self-centred and living with empathy and sympathy for others. A beautiful and vital sentiment, and one that is only reiterated when you travel.

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Bridget Jones does the Tongariro Crossing (Part 2)

Tongariro - 2

If you haven’t done so, you can read Bridget Jones does the Tongariro Part 1 here.

Tongariro - The Steep Killer Slope

7.45am – Embarking on the devil’s staircase/slippery slope of death

Am about to climb a right-angle complete with treacherous ice. It is clearly designed to slaughter the clumsy members of the human race (ie. me). Think I might die as I am not wearing crumpets (or whatever they’re called) on my shoes and I have no walking sticks.

Have managed to do a pretty nifty video of me walking though. Always good to have artsy videos for Instagram. Am the next Bear Grills, after all.


Was just tottering along with my camera making very astute David Attenborough-esque commentary, imagining my glittering future career as journalist and film maker, when I stumbled on an icy rock. Fell flat on my arse.

I swear I heard my frozen fat crack.

The only blessing is that there is no one around to witness such a mortifying occurrence.


My arse hurts. I wonder if it is appropriate to have a fag whilst trekking? After all, it would be medicinal (to distract me from the pain).


Have lit medicinal cigarette and resumed walking. I decided that given the circumstances and the lack of judgmental human company, having one small ciggie to keep me going with this journey is perfectly justifiable.

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