Hello from the stinky land of sulphur! To be fair the smell isnt as bad as we expected, you get used to it although in some parts it resembles a big eggy stink bomb! We left Auckland yesterday and drove to Matamata where we went on a tour of hobbiton! Dad seriously you would have loved it, it was great! Dont be fooled by the pictures though, its was soooooo cold, the wind was freezing! We had a tour around the sheep farm the shire was filmed on and got told loads of random facts such as how Peter Jackson demanded a real oak tree to go above Bilbos house so he journeyed to the south island, bought one off a farmer, chopped it down and bought all 26 tonnes of it back. But because he got it in winter, it had no leaves on it and he wanted real leaves so that theyd be a realistic sound in the wind. They put all the pieces of the tree back together and employed university students over the sumeer to sit and sew oak leaves onto the tree with wire thread. Seems a bit crazy seeing as the tree was only in the film for 35 seconds!! The site where the shire was filmed was gorgeous, lovely scenery and soooo green! After we had finished our tour we ventured to Rotorua. After checking in and having some tea we went to the Polynesian Spa where we sat in hot thermal pools ranging from 38 to 42 degrees. It was lovely and although we came out shrivelled and smelling slightly eggy from the sulphur, we slept great last night because of it! However, we are no longer tanned, it all seemed to come off in the hot pools!!! :( Today we are off to a park where they had a geothermal explosion a few years ago so random stuff is coming up from the ground and bubbling all over the place :) Tomorrow we head to Lake Taupo, after Garry has been white water rafting! We got 2 free tickets with our car rental but seeing as its grade 5 rafting (the most extreme you can do) and you go down a 7 foot waterfall, i thought id give it a miss!!! I dont like being splashed at the best of times but when its this cold theres no chance! So i am going to the mud spa for a bit of relaxation!
ooooo one more thing, you'll all be pleased to know that we officially have working holiday visas now! So we'll def be working in Oz! Will be a bit sad when we have to leave new zealand though, from what weve seen its so lovely here and although weve been really lucky with the weather, theres been no rain, it will be nice to gte back in the ozzie sun, its soooo cold here!!!
Dad - Hope you like the pictures of Hobbiton :)