To all the families who contributed to making it possible for the boys to go to Hobbiton and Te Puia, and especially to Tracy Smith & Erika Miller, Russ & Hope Goudy, and Karl Miller --
THANK YOU!! What a fantastic day!
The feedback from every boy, the chaps and staff was unanimous:
Paused on the bridge, heading for lunch at the Green Dragon Inn.
The Movie Set of The Shire, home to the Hobbits in The Lord of The Rings & The Hobbit was magical, both for fans of the books and movie and for those not quite so into the fantasy genre. It's so real, in such a depth of detail that we excepted to see Gandalf, Bilbo and Frodo come around the next corner. In addition to spending half the morning wandering through The Shire, we also had an entertaining and informative guide who filled us in on how Peter Jackson chose the Alexander family's sheep farm as the site of The Shire.
|The Party Tree - site of Bilbo's famous birthday party|
|Happy morning wandering through The Shire, imaging that Gandalf, Bilbo and Frodo were around the corner|
|Bag End, home of Bilbo Baggins, Hobbit|
Not sure how some of the leaves of that tree ended up in our pockets. . .
The tour was followed by a very hobbitish/New Zealandy lunch at he recreation of the Green Dragon Inn complete with ginger beer and a very hobbitty lunch.
After a run through the gift shop, we continued through the beautiful New Zealand countryside to Rotarua, site of natural hot springs and geysers, an important Maori location.
Doesn't get much better than this - boiling mud, geysers, Maori guides, and a mini-concert for the carvers in their workshop - great cultural exchange.