New Zealand, hobbits, hot springs and Tamaki Maori Village.

New Zealand is exciting, loud, fun, cold, friendly.

We have been in New Zealand for five days now and so far, we have experienced so much fun.

 We arrived in Auckland and met up with some friends that we got to know on Fiji. Henry and Aria had a playdate while we sat around drinking tea and talking about travels. It turns out she stayed in Antibes, France as well about 15 years ago. Small world.

The boys also had a haircut as it was about 12 weeks since the last one.

 We got our car 2 days ago and drove to Hahei on the Coramandel Peninsula. We stayed at a hotel called the church and around there they had a hot spring beach. It was freezing cold but all the people there were in swimwear laying in hot puddles that they had dug out.

I didn’t think it was going to be that hot but it really was. The further away from the water you dug the hotter it got, around 60 degrees. But it was only in certain spots. We were not in swimwear but we stood with our feet in the water and it was wonderful. Earlier in the day we went on a boat to spot some whales and dolphins. Unfortunately, we didn’t spot any. But we did see a baby seal and some beautiful caves. It was a great trip but it ended quickly when the rain come over us.

 The weather has been pretty good, around 16 degrees and the sun has been out most days. Don’t get me wrong it’s no Fiji or Hawaii but it is nice.

 Then we drove on and checked into a hotel in Rotorua. This hotel is excellent. It is a real five star hotel with two bedrooms, a living area and two bathrooms. From this hotel we took the car up to Hobbiton. Stephen has seen and read all the films and books and knows everything about them. I have seen the films but don’t remember much (except Orlando Bloom) But it was still an exciting day. We went there on a quiet time a year, there were still people but not busload after busload. We had a lovely guide that took us around and I really recommend to go there even if you haven’t seen the films or read the books. It is a beautiful place and it is a lovely walk around.

 This morning we went and did some canopy walking, it was pretty nice a 500m of walk up in the trees.

In the evening, we went to Tamaki Maori Village Hangi and concert. A bus came and picked us up from our hotel and took us to a village out in the woods. There was a lovely welcome with everyone in the village in traditional clothing and tattoos. They took us around to different areas where they told us about their daily life. They then showed us how they cook food underneath the earth. And while the food was being prepared they had a show for us with the Haka to finish. Amazing.

The food was yummy and the whole evening was special.

On the way home the bus driver went a bit mad and was singing in all kinds of languages and went round and round the roundabouts. Henry thought he was hilarious. He was going to drive around another roundabout but then the police came with their lights on so he didn’t dare. The police weren’t for him but it was just so funny. He had the whole bus in stiches and nobody wanted to get off when it was their stop.

It was such a wonderful place. Really magical.
It was such a wonderful place. Really magical.
Here we are in the speed boat. Trying our best to see a whale, but sadly we couldn't find any.
Here we are in the speed boat. Trying our best to see a whale, but sadly we couldn’t find any.

Some beautiful caves along the coast.
Some beautiful caves along the coast.
Baby seal
Baby seal
We had rain one minute and beautiful sunshine the next.
We had rain one minute and beautiful sunshine the next.
We did have to hide in one of these caves a few times when the rain came in hard.
We did have to hide in one of these caves a few times when the rain came in hard.
So the thing is, you come along with a spade, you dig yourself a hole and lay down in it. The water is about 60 degrees so you have to mix in some water from the sea as well.
So the thing is, you come along with a spade, you dig yourself a hole and lay down in it. The water is about 60 degrees so you have to mix in some water from the sea as well.
I didn't get my clothes of, but Stephen did.
I didn’t get my clothes of, but Stephen did.
The Hobbits!
The Hobbits!

I bet that the man who owned this land got quite alot of money...
I bet that the man who owned this land got quite alot of money…
Henrys rabbit Babbab has to come everywhere but this time he didn't do very well....
Henrys rabbit Babbab has to come everywhere but this time he didn’t do very well….

We would fit in here quite nicely.
We would fit in here quite nicely.
The green dragon. The pub in the Hobbit village.
The green dragon. The pub in the Hobbit village.

I really don't like high things, but the forest is so beautiful when the sun is out.
I really don’t like high things, but the forest is so beautiful when the sun is out.
The have these huge lanterns hanging from the trees that they lit up in the evenings.
The have these huge lanterns hanging from the trees that they lit up in the evenings.

22 differnt areas and 500 meters in total.
22 differnt areas and 500 meters in total.

An amazing welcome. Thery arrived by boat and came up and did the Haka.
An amazing welcome. Thery arrived by boat and came up and did the Haka.

Friendly and very happy.
Friendly and very happy.

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