Northern Explorer


We took the Northern Explorer scenic train ride from Auckland to Wellington as a way to see more of the country and get from one to the other. It was quite pleasant and the scenery was great. Our cab to the station was on time, check-in was smooth, and the view out the window was … Read more


famous sign

As a lifelong Tolkien fan, I knew we had to visit the Hobbiton film set. It was just as good as I hoped it would be.  We visited Hobbiton on a day tour from Auckland that also included the glowworm caves at Waitomo. The bus ride allowed us to see some of the north island. … Read more



Auckland is a nice city and a good base for our day trip to Hobbiton. We opted to stay there rather than breaking the stay into Auckland and Rotorua.  Day 1: Cairns, Australia to Auckland We had a 5:45 AM flight, which meant a 3:30 AM shuttle, which meant getting up at 2:30 AM. So … Read more