We were here in New Zealand in 2004 because Jonah and Aja were living here with a two year old and a new baby. We came for the baby blessing! In the process of driving around the North Island we saw a tiny little sign by the side of the road, almost obscured by bushes that said, Hobbiton. I thought it might have something to do with The Hobbit movie series but we didn’t have time to stop.
I’m glad about that because we had a chance to see the quite amazing place that Hobbiton has become since then. It was first “thrown together with temporary materials when they commenced the filming of Lord of the Rings in 1999. The next time around when they filmed the Hobbit Trilogy in 2011 Peter Jackson, the director (born in Wellington) made a pledge to leave all the structures created for the movie there and in good condition so that tourists could enjoy the 1250 acre sheep and beef farm (and make some good money I might add). The property is astounding! Even though they did build some of the mounds, most of the place was perfectly ready for little Hobbit houses!
The attention to detail is simply remarkable considering that it is only shown briefly, mostly at the beginning and the end of the films. After seeing thirty nine little Hobbit houses and the beautiful job they have done with the beautfiul plants and vegetables on the property,we were astonished at what they have done! Just take a look at what we saw. Even though its impossible to show the scope of the place, you’ll get the idea!
The frog pond below was full of very loud frogs (never heard anything quite like that). Peter Jackson had them removed for the filming and then brought back after everyone left.
Can’t wait to see some of these movies, based on Tolkien’s classic books again!
The weather was prefect while we were there, but as we boarded the buses for our next stop, it started to pour with rain. Luckily our next event was inside at a place called the Agradome. It was a fascinating place to see the sheep industry of New Zealand up close and personal! We were on the front row!
Here are the many breeds of sheep, more than I could have imagined! They were led on one at a time for their moment of stardome.
This big daddy’s wool is about 8 inches thick. He grows the finest wool:
These guys grow amazing horns!
They got kind of bored with the show after while:
It was quite an effort to get them all to stand up. They ran the incredible sheep dog over the top of them which they hardly noticed!
The host of the show sheared a sheep in about 90 seconds. Somehow he made the sheep totally relaxed in the process! Pretty amazing!
My dad used to sheer sheep, with hand clippers! Much slower and not as safe! Fun show!
Here’s a beautiful museum in Auckland:
To the right is hemp and to the left is some of the things one can make with hemp:
Beautiful Maori carving, sailing ships and a sacred dwelling with carvings of people with tongues out and big scary eyes to ward off the evil spirits.
And lastly, an amazing canoe, made from one tree. We need this thing for our reunion!
After a little lunch and a stroll around the harbor at Auckland to see some amazing yachts as welll as the sailing ship for America’s Cup (below), we headed for the ship for our last three days at sea before we arrive in Melbourne for the Aussie Open! We’re exited!
And back to three days at sea before we reach Melbourne and our fun days at the Australian Open….with Tal….who is already there. Yippee!!!