Hobbiton

The famous Hobbiton from The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films can be found on private property in Matamata New Zealand. You can’t just wander in and take a look, and you won’t see much from the main road, but for $75 per adult you can take a tour.

Alexander farm was discovered in an aerial search of farmland by Peter Jackson and his crew when they went looking for a site for Hobbiton for scenes in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. It’s man-made lake, landscape and round tree (a perfect representation of the Party Tree) confirmed it as the setting.

The original set was constructed out of temporary materials and taken away when filming was completed. It was rebuilt in 2009 out of permanent materials for the filming of The Hobbit Trilogy and has been maintained as a tourist attraction since.

Most of the Hobbit holes are not deep enough to go inside but one is open to stand in and take photos. I loved how the occupation of each Hobbit is reflected in what’s outside their door – for example cheese, fish, woodwork or flowers.

Our tour bus was packed but in winter it’s likely to be quieter. I’m not a huge fan of the films but it was a very cool place to visit. Then tour concludes with a complementary drink at The Green Dragon Inn which is certainly one of the highlights.

 

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New Zealand as a honeymoon hotspot

It’s not surprising New Zealand is a popular romantic holiday destination with it’s unique scenery, untouched landscapes and plenty of exciting things to do whether it’s summer or winter.

I am not currently planning a honeymoon (an important disclaimer to have in here when my boyfriend reads this!) but I imagine with all the stress of organising a wedding, having some friendly help with planning your holiday at the end of it all would be quite the lifesaver. 

Honeymoon travel specialists like perfecthoneymoonsabroad.co.uk make it their business to know the best spots for loved up couples and put together some great packages for this part of the world. Inspired by their site – here are my top five romantic things to do in New Zealand.

 1.  Take a Seaplane to one of Auckland’s islands

If you’re working your way down the country it makes sense to start in Auckland. Auckland Seaplanes offer Fly and Stay and Fly and Dine flights to Auckland’s islands.

You’ll love the deserted, secluded nature of these islands, a break from the busy city. Waikeke is synonymous with boutique wine and you will be treated like a VIP wherever you stay or dine. The aspect from flying over this part of the world and landing on deserted beaches is special and something you will remember forever.

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2. Dine up the Skytower

Among Auckland’s most icons is the Skytower, and eating up there is a real treat. Peter Gordon’s Sugar Club Restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Auckland and comes with sky high views, excellent service and added extras.

Watch the sun set over Auckland’s harbour with your partner and enjoy a complementary trip to the observation deck after your meal.

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3. Stay in a Luxury Lodge

While Auckland’s SkyCity Grand Hotel and Wellington’s Intercontinental might be two of the best hotels I have ever stayed in, New Zealand’s luxury lodges are something which must be experienced for their distinction and exclusivity.

Known for their world-class cuisine and exceptional hospitality, a number of them fall around the central North Island, perfect for visiting both Taupo and Rotorua.

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4. Take a Guided Bike Tour of Marlborough Wineries

Marlborough is one of New Zealand’s premier wine regions and the best way to experience it is by bike so that no one has to drive.

The area is renowned for it’s Sauvignon Blancs and with a small group, guide, water and lunch included in the price of tours like this one you’re set for a great day out.

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5. Onsen Hotpools

No trip to Queenstown is complete without a spot of the adventurous whether it is skiing, snowboarding, bungy jumping or riding the luge. But to recover you need to visit Onsen Hot Pools.

Their private, indoor hotpools are perched high above the shotover canyon for a beautiful view which will make you feel like you’re the only two people in the world.

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#officialblogger: This post was made possible by perfecthoneymoonsabroad.co.uk but as usual all opinions are my own and what I would recommend to a friend.