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

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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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?😊