I went on an Adventure! The entire time I imagined I was a Hobbit on an epic adventure across Middle Earth but discovered so much more to the country of New Zealand than what I had known of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. Auckland was a diverse city and I immediately threw myself off the sky tower like a good tourist. While staying in Auckland I took day tours to incredible sights outside the city like the beautiful bay of islands where I got to see a pod of dolphins and even more amazing orcas.
The black sand beach of Piha was one of my favorite tours, which I added on once I arrived. One of the best things about my itinerary was the great balance of scheduled tours and free afternoons to potentially add additional tours or discover less well known attractions recommended by the locals.
Hobbiton was by far the highlight of my trip, it was a beautiful day and even if you are not a fan of the movies it is something to see with all of the beautiful landscaping and little gardens. Plus you can grab a steak and ale pie and a cider at the Green Dragon pub.
Weta Workshop was also a must see for me and I actually ended up going twice and jumping tours, since everyone is so accommodating and genuinely excited to share their knowledge of Tolkien facts as well as native history of New Zealand.
Queenstown was my favorite of the cities and I was happy I got to spend so much time there. I fell in love with the south island and hope to return sooner rather than later. Paradise and Glenorchy have breathtaking views and the city of Queenstown is always full of activity. The country is full of activities and adventures and I’ve already started a list of places to see and things to do on the next visit.