Emerald Inn: Auckland NZ

We were up in Auckland for a weekend to watch A New World: Final Fantasy concert. Taylor Swift was also in town but we skipped her banging performance and opted to nerd out instead. Haha.

We normally just stay with friends whenever we fly up to the big city, but for this trip I suggested we book a room instead to make it feel like a “mini getaway”.

We chose to stay at the Emerald Inn as it looked quite good on the photos and it was just a 2 min walk from Bruce Mason Centre, where the concert was being held.

What we loved about this place:

  • Very near to Bruce Mason Centre where the concert was being held.
  • Very near to all the shops and restaurants in Takapuna
  • Just right beside Takapuna Beach
  • Own parking space
  • Well maintained room
  • Room had a small kitchen area (if you chose not to eat out)
  • Comfortable bed and pillows and soft sheets
  • Iron and ironing board included in the room (because it’s so much nicer when your clothes are not all wrinkled when you go out)
  • The overall tropical resort feel of the place — still felt pretty secluded and peaceful despite its very central location

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.

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.


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


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.





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.



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.


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!


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.


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.



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.


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


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


4. The waterfall


5. The water’s cold!


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


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


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


9. The Sandbar



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