Lord of the Rings Tour


We took a tour of several Lord of the Rings filming sites with Flat Earth. We got to see some of the countryside too. There were four of us on the tour, all Lord of the Rings fans. Our tour guide, Dave, was an extra in the movies. (He played an orc and a Gondorian … Read more

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



We loved Wellington. It’s quirky, walkable, has some great sights and restaurants. And it is windy! Day 1: Auckland to Wellington Arriving from Auckland via the Northern Explorer scenic train, we got a shuttle from the train station to Wellington City Cottages where we’ll be staying. They’re right at the end of Cuba St, which … 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