I finished my time in New Zealand on Sunday, August 5, 2012. After Queenstown I headed up the East coast of the South Island, across the ferry to Wellington then on up to Taupo. It was here that I spent two nights because I wanted to catch the two things I had missed, due to poor weather on the way south. I did skydive on the Wednesday then on the Thursday hiked the Tongariro Crossing. Mt Tongariro is the volcano that just erupted for the first time in a century.
We were 3 hours into the hike when the weather was rainy, windy and miserable, so they turned us around. I never was able to complete the crossing. Once back down, the weather was warm and the Mt. Doom was visible–mother nature!!!
In Rotarua was able to go to Hobbittown where the set has been kept after the filming of The Hobbit. The same area was used in the making of Lord of the Rings, but the outer buildings were made out of styrofoam which has been removed. This time around the set is permanent and tours will continue indefinitely. They are actually creating an addition to the pub-The Prancing Pony, so people can hold functions there–like get married etc.
I have been in Australia for a couple of days now and tomorrow I head to Melbourne. Here I was out on a harbour tour and saw the Opera House, Bridge, the Mint, the botanical gardens, the Barracks, Hyde Park, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Bondi Beach and finally, the Contemporary Art Museum.
I have much inspiration now and have time to consider a few things–Figi and Australia do not offer as many or any gluten free items. New Zealand was a mecca for these luxuries. However, the sinks in New Zealand were so ridiculously small I have no idea how I used them–or anyone does for that matter. Here I am back to having a close to regular size sink…here as in all places, some things are luxuries, some are staples and some things we continue to wish for.