Hobbiton NZ 🌍

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.” J.R.R Tolkien

Binged watched both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogy movies with Jan recently and was inspired to do this post. 

Welcome to “Hobbiton” — home to Bilbo and Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee, hobbits of The Shire.

The area used as a filming location for the LOTR and The Hobbit movies is a family owned farm situated in Matamata New Zealand (In the North Island).

After filming for the last of The Hobbit movie was done, the set was left in place and is now a popular tourist destination in the Waikato Region.

(Almost three years ago) We did the movie set tour in Hobbiton. During the tour, an appointed guide took us around the site and told us fun facts about the filming process that took place as well as pointing out key things in the area that were significant to the LOTR and The Hobbit movies.

*The “Party Tree” where Bilbo did his speech during his birthday celebration prior to leaving The Shire.

*Bag End. Home of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.

*One of forty-four Hobbit homes left intact after filming of the movies.

*Winding pathways going around Hobbiton.

Our tour ended at the Green Dragon Inn with a complimentary drink included with the tour.

“The world is not in your books and maps… It is out there.” – Gandalf

Takapuna Beach NZ πŸŒ

Went up to Auckland recently to watch the coldplay concert and spend some time with good ‘ol friends (The concert was AWESOME btw). The day after the concert, we had lunch at Takapuna beach.

It was such a wonderful day… warm sunshine, warm summer breeze, good food and even better company… It was a nice way to chill after the hungover from all the fun the night before.

Ordered Iced coffee as I was in desperate need of some caffeine and was pleasantly surprised to be given this!

You get to mix the espresso and milk into vanilla ice cream instead of just ice… this was sooooooo good! Yum!

After we ate.. we went walking by the beach for a little bit as it was such a lovely day.

Of course we couldn’t resist taking photos as well!

So… next time you’re in Auckland and wanting some chill time by the beach.. you now know where to go πŸ˜‰

Note: For information on how to get here, just go to this link http://www.takapunabeach.co.nz/site/webpages/discover-takapuna-beach/getting-there.

Sta. Fe Beach Club: Philippines πŸŒ

These are some photos that I took while we were in the resort that we stayed in on a trip to Bantayan Island Cebu, Phillipines. It had been three long years that I wasn’t able to spend time with my family so when I went back home ( finally ) for a two week vacation, I thought it a good idea to go on a short out of town trip with them.

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There are a lot of resorts beside the beach to choose from in Bantayan Island. I had been to a couple of them way back when I was still in highschool and early college. Generally all resorts are good and most of them are just dotted right beside the shore. I ended up choosing Sta. Fe Beach club for us to stay in just because I haven’t been before and their room rates were well within my budget.

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We were there during non-peak season and we arrived on a Friday so we pretty much had the resort to ourselves on our very first day. ( Peak season is during summer time, around March to May or during Holy Week which coincides with the annual fiesta in Bantayan Island. There are a bit more people during the weekends as well. )

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We rented out three rooms during our stay. One of them was right in front of the shoreline exactly where I stood while taking this photo.

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That’s our room right there, included in the photo πŸ™‚

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The second one a bit to the back. That’s the one right behind the coconut tree πŸ™‚

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Our third room was on the second floor of this building. The first floor is the dining area for all guests. For photos of the inside of the rooms and their rates click here: http://www.stafebeach.com/rooms.html

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You can see local fishermen dock their boats early in the morning just to the side of the resort.

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A panorama shot that I was able to take one late afternoon when the tide was very low.

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Another panorama shot taken during sunset. That’s my brother sitting in one of the chairs. Hehe πŸ˜€

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Sta. Fe beach club is no fancy hotel type or waterpark themed resort. It’s small and modest BUT because of that, it makes it really ideal if you’re looking for some quite downtime from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We had a nice, fun, relaxing time during our stay here. I’ve always been a beach girl and so three days of sun, sand and sea really lifted up my spirits and made my soul very happy!

P.S. This is NOT a paid write up but just wanted to share our experience during our stay. If you do end up coming here, I hope you have as much of a good time as we did. xoxo

 

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Red Rocks Reserve: Wellington NZ πŸŒ

“Maori folklore tells two stories relating to the color of these rocks. In one, Kupe – the famous Polynesian explorer – was gathering Paua ( large edible sea snails ) here when one clamped his hand. He bled and stained the rocks red.

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In the other story, the red is the blood of Kupe’s daughters. Fearing for their father’s safety on a long voyage, they gashed themselves in grief over his absence.” – newzealand.com

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The Red Rocks Reserve is a coastal walkway located at Owhiro Bay, Wellington NZ. It generally takes about two hours ( return ) to do the walk. About 30-40 minutes going to where the red rocks are and then another 30 minutes to continue on a bit further to Sinclair Head to get a glimpse of the New Zealand fur seal colony. Then an hours walk to go all the way back to where you started. Although I think the time it takes to do the walk will really be different for everyone. Some may do it faster than others… it really depends on how physically fit you are and what pace you are aiming at.

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WHAT TO EXPECT:

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RUGGED TERRAIN — You’ll be walking on sand and stones. Make sure to wear appropriate footwear like sneakers ( or rubber shoes ). Wear comfortable clothing as well.

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BEAUTIFUL VIEWS — You could easily get pre-occupied with just doing the walk and finishing it. When it gets a bit tiring, take a breather, look around and appreciate what’s around you.

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MILD TO STRONG WINDS (It IS Wellington after all) — A windproof hoodie with good insulation is a good accessory to have as it can get really windy and cold in the late afternoon (especially if you’re doing the walk in winter). When we did our walk, the wind was strong enough to actually blast some of the sand and pebbles on the side of our faces!

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GOOD EXERCISE — Red Rocks is considered as an easy walk… still, that’s about two hours of proper walking… that’s good exercise if you ask me. You could always jog or run as well if that’s more suited to your activity level. Within the area is also where the Taputeranga Marine Reserve is located where you can go snorkelling or diving. See here for more information http://www.doc.govt.nz/Documents/conservation/marine-and-coastal/marine-protected-areas/taputeranga-marine-reserve-brochure.pdf.

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THE SEALS — Generally the seals are just lying and resting on top of the rocks and are harmless. Be cautious in approaching them though and don’t get TOO close. I got one of the seals all flustered and roaring at me when I got too close for comfort. That was quite a scare.

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HOW TO GET HERE:

Drive: It’s about 25 minutes drive from the city center down to Owhiro Bay.

Bus: “You can catch bus number 1 to Island Bay and get off at the last stop and walk around the coast via the Bach Cafe and Owhiro Bay Parade. This adds a 2 kilometre walk before the start of the walkway. The are buses to Happy Valley, number 4, during the week which take you closer, as does the Southern Shopper bus (number 29) which takes an awkward route from the Hospital, through Newtown, Berhampore, Kingston, Brooklyn and Happy Valley to end at Island Bay shops.” – newzealand.com 

Source: I got some of the information found here at http://www.newzealand.com/int/feature/red-rocks-reserve/

P.S. Share this post if you found it helpful! Also, love sharing content and stories on facebook! Follow me at https://www.facebook.com/wanderingdaydreamer1004/. See yah! πŸ™‚

 

 

10 photos to sum up our Abel-Tasman experience.

Spending Christmas last year in this paradise was the BEST idea ever ❀

Note: I would like to thank my friend Dorothy Sanchez for some of her photos that are posted here.😊❀️

  1. The 10 minute walk from Medlands Beach to Bark Bay.

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2. A good dose of greenery and sparkling blue waters along the way.

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3. The swing bridge when you do the waterfall trail from Bark Bay ( About an hour one way ).

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4. The waterfall

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5. The water’s cold!

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6. Rest and a picnic on top of some boulders.

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7. Relaxing and soaking up the sun after all the walking.

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8. Fun under the sun! We love the beach!

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9. The Sandbar

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10. White sands… Crystal clear waters… Not too crowded. We absolutely love this place!

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Staglands Wildlife Reserve NZ

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Deer running down the hill for feed time — Staglands Wildlife Reserve

It was the Queen’s birthday long weekend and we ( me, my boyfriend and our close friend and flatmate) were thinking up stuff to do as we had another friend who was visiting us from out of town. I had been to Staglands Wildlife Reserve before and had enjoyed the experience so I brought that up with them as they haven’t been there yet and they all agreed to check it out.

On the day that we went, it took us about an hour by car from Wellington CBD to get to the reserve and we had to pass through some really windy and narrow (and a bit risky in my opinion) roads to get there… but the drive was worth it.

We payed 20NZD each to enter the reserve and we also bought a bag of Animal food for 2.50NZD. For more details on pricing, click this link: http://www.staglands.co.nz/wellington-attractions/hours-prices

The lovely lady at the counter also gave us a map of the place before we went in so that it was easier to walk our way through the reserve.

The first spot on the map just behind the entrance way was the picnic area. Here we could already see some ducks, geese and peacocks just milling around. We fed the ducks and geese some food and then continued on our way.

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We then passed by some swans — they reminded me of the Ugly Duckling story. There were also black swans in another section of the reserve but I was just not able to take any photos of them. They’re quite more mean too those black ones. Ha.

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There is a section in the reserve where the Kune Kune pigs are. The big ones are inside an enclosure… but we found some baby kune kune pigs just walking around freely.

This is a photo of our friend with one of the baby pigs.

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This one is a photo of me 2 years earlier with some baby kune kune pigs as well during my first visit to Staglands.

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Another old photo of me at the stables πŸ™‚

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Across the barn area of the reserve is this beautiful view… ❀ The barn area is where people can have picnics and use the bbq during summer time.

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Another highlight of Staglands is their trout pool which has both the brown and rainbow trouts.

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The fishes here are HUGE!!!

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Staglands also has different Aviaries spread out around the area where you can get to see birds of different kinds. Just like these ones at the bottom!

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And then… there’s the SECRET GARDEN, which is one of my favorite spots here. It just feels a bit like you’re entering a different world when you’re in here.

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There are some pretty cute bunnies in here too!

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We also had a bit of fun in the Old Bush Settlement where you get to see and experience how people lived in the past.

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This is me and the boyfriend playing around with some stuff :p

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And at the end… is the croft and the deer park.

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This little cow over here is a darling… cuddles up to you to get some food! Haha!

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The deer were freely roaming around in the deer park. They were quite shy animals though and generally moved away when we tried get quite close.

Within the deer farm, we noticed that there was a little path where we can hike up the hill a little bit. We went up there to get a little bit closer to the deer who were up the hill and also to have a good view of the ground below just like the photo at the bottom!

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Finding Inspiration

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Have been feeling a bit stressed and worn down by everyday life as of late that on some days I feel like I’m just dragging myself along merely to exist. Looking at this photo seems to give me a bit of temporary peace and has made me reflect that I should be grateful for all that I have and for all that I am right at this very moment.

*Photo taken in Mt. Victoria, Wellington NZ

Nelson New Zealand: Interislander Ferry Views.❀️

Happy 2016 to all! This post will be part of a series of posts that I will be doing about our lovely summer Christmas holiday in Nelson. I was initially a bit confused on how I was going to go about writing this… in the end I decided to just break it into the different highlights of the trip rather than making very detailed and lengthy daily posts that might be a bit of a bore to read. If you think it’s a better idea to write down all that transpired from the start to the end of each day, please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. New ideas or writing tips are always appreciated! Alright, on with the post!😊

Our trip officially started when went aboard the Interislander Ferry bound for Nelson on the morning of the 24th. We were taking the ferry as we had never tried riding the Interislander from Wellington to Picton before and we had heard stories from people we know that it’s one to try due to the views. The journey takes three hours and passes by Pencarrow Head, Cook Straight, Marlborough Sound, Tory Channel and Queen Charlotte Sound.

Here is a link from the Interislander website that will show you a more detailed look about the voyage —->  https://www.interislander.co.nz/The-Voyage/Index.aspx#content

I experienced a bit of sea sickness in the middle of our journey, however, I was able to take some anti-nausea medicine (which was available in the ferry store) so I was still able to enjoy most of my time on the boat especially once we entered Marlborough Sound going to Queen Charlotte Sound. The site that greeted us was amazing!❀️




 

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Beautiful right? For those of you who haven’t tried the ferry trip from Wellington to Picton yet, I definitely recommend giving it a go (even if it’s just once if you really are not a boat person). It would be a nice tick off your bucket list πŸ˜‰

Note: I left the photos unedited because I seem to like looking at them “untouched” and natural at the moment πŸ™‚

Wellington Waterfront: Day and Night

I was browsing through old photos for my next blog post when I stumbled upon these and thought that I would post them instead.

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These are photos that I took from the viewing deck of Te Papa Museum Wellington. They’re not the best of quality as I only took them with my Iphone at the time but I just find it amusing that I was able to take a “day photo” and an “evening photo” of more or less the same angle on totally different days without even realizing until now. I guess that just shows how much I like coming here!

The viewing deck is located on the top most floor of the museum. Go to the lifts located near the information area and then head up to the sixth floor. When you go out the glass doors, you will be greeted with a fantastic view of the waterfront.

This place is one of my few favorite spots here in Wellington. The view from up here is beautiful and whenever I’m showing a friend around who’s in the city for the first time, I always bring them up here when doing the mandatory trip to Te Papa Museum.

What about you? Any special spots in your city you want to share?😊