Hobbit Holes, Caves and Glow-worms....What a Mix!!

Trip Start Dec 28, 2010
Trip End Apr 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
The Caves Motel

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Saturday, March 12, 2011

With New Zealand being the place that Lord of the Rings was filmed, a trip here wouldn't be the same without some sort of sight-seeing opportunity, and we hit the jackpot! On the way to Waitomo Patto mentioned the Hobbit tour leaflet she'd seen, so after trawling through the mountain of leaflets and tourist flyers we eventually found it, and to our surprise the place was in the exact direction we were going, and we would just make the last tour.

Patto put her foot down, and we got there just in time. Now the leaflet said you could visit Hobbiton and the Shire, but most of the place had been put back to its original state after filming the 3 movies, and there were just a handful of Hobbit Holes left......however, the film-makers had decided to use the same spot for the new movie that's being made as we speak....and the whole town was put back together!!! 

It was amazing to be on an actual film set....and to be in the real Shire!! Geeky, but well cool!!!

Unfortunately I am unable to put any pictures on here or tell you anything about the place, as we had to sign a confidentiality agreement. However, I can show you the pics and tell you in person, just not publish them on the net...it would be just my luck to get sued!!

We left Hobbiton in awe, got back into old Betsy and headed to Waitomo, which is where the famous Glow-worm caves are.

We rocked up in the tiny town, which is supposed to have only about 40 actual residents in (the tourists and hostels/hotels make the rest up) and spent ages trying to find somewhere to stay that was within budget. We looked at the hostels, which were full, went on a farm-stay with a petting zoo, and finally found The Caves Motel.

This place was a little weird, it was right off the State Highway, and reminded me of something from an old horror film. At night the hotel closed and all the lights went out, the rooms just looked out onto the deserted road and there was not a soul about!! Don't get me wrong, it didn't feel unsafe or anything, just a little weird!

We went to the Glow-worm Caves the next day, and were shown around all the different caverns. We then got on this little boat and our guide set off, in the pitch black with no motor or oars, just by pulling on a rope! It was pitch black and we were told not to make any noises as we enter the glow-worm bit. You could see thousands of illuminous blue lights from these tiny little creatures, it was stunning to look at, mesmerising in fact. Like looking up at the stars, but them being about 10 foot from your face and glowing. We weren't allowed to take pictures in here either  so you'll have to take my word for it!

In the morning I decided to give Betsy a little clean, as the near 3,000 kilometres we had driven had really taken it's toll....you could barely see through the windscreen for dead bugs. Oh and that reminds me of something here, never in my whole life have I seen so much road-kill....there are squashed creatures everywhere!!

Next stop, Bay of Islands up north.....
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