Tag Archives: nz

Hobbiton in Mata Mata, New Zealand

We visited Hobbiton in Mata Mata, New Zealand three years ago. Anya was just 2 years and 9 months old then and Adam was a 4-month-old dumpling. It was amazing and definitely a must-do when in New Zealand. At that time, we were told in no uncertain terms that we were forbidden from posting pictures of Hobbiton online until all The Hobbit movies were done.

Of course, I see tons of Hobbiton pictures on the Internet all the time, even before this third instalment was released, but I am a woman of my word so none of those photos were posted by me. We went on a double date on Thursday night to watch The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies with the same couple that we visited Hobbiton with. Now I feel free to share my pictures of Hobbiton from 3 years ago and a (terribly short) review of the movie.

Gollum welcomes us to Hobbiton

Gollum welcomes us to Hobbiton

family pic before our tour

family pic before our tour

Hobbiton cat

Hobbiton cat

even the 'mould' on the sign is specially created

even the ‘mould’ on the sign is specially created

Adrian carrying a halfling

Adrian carrying a halfling

incredibly cute

incredibly cute

look out that glass in the door

look at that glass in the door

across the water

across the water

little hobbit houses in a row

little hobbit houses in a row

the attention to detail is amazing

the attention to detail is amazing



Hobbiton cat again

Hobbiton cat again

water pump

water pump

Adrian and halfling on the move

Adrian and halfling on the move

Hobbiton is a huge area

looking down

walking up to Bilbo Baggins' house

walking up to Bilbo Baggins’ house

just, wow

the most famous hobbit house

family pic outside a little house

family pic outside another little house

fast-moving hobbit

fast-moving hobbit



back on the bus!

back on the bus!

Here’s my review of Battle of Five Armies; no major spoilers if you have read the book. Personally, I think The Hobbit would have done better split into two instalments than three. Nonetheless, I liked Batle of the Five Armies. It was a tad indulgent with way too many scenes of characters looking meaningfully into the distance and a bit draggy here and there, especially when we were waiting for Thorin Oakenshield to break out of his stupor. I know Legolas is not in the book but he is in the movie and I definitely enjoy the scenes of him in action. *insert heart-shaped eyes emoticon*

In short, is Battle of the Five Armies worth watching? Yes. Is Hobbiton worth a visit? Without a doubt!

NZ Trip: Christchurch – Earthquake Damage and Recovery

While in Christchurch, we took a walk down the Cathedral Square walkway which was open to the public. It was really sad to see the extent of the damage caused by the earthquakes in Sept 2010 and Feb 2011. The atmosphere at the container mall (a temporary pedestrian shopping mall made from shipping containers) built on the site of a shopping mall destroyed in the earthquakes was a lively and hopeful one though and the city is definitely taking action to pick itself up.

Of course, we were stunned to hear that Christchurch was struck by a series of earthquakes on Friday. While our hearts go out to the people in Christchurch, I really thank God that the earthquakes didn’t happen when we were there. I really don’t know what we would have done if we didn’t have power or water supply or if we had missed our flight home when we had three little kids to worry about. Also very sad to hear that the cathedral has suffered further damage although thank God again that there were no fatalities or serious injuries this time around.

many areas still fenced off

wonder what these streets used to be like

entering the Cathedral Square walkway

demolition notices

Christchurch Cathedral

container mall

Anya doing her part for the economy

NZ Trip: Christchurch – Punting on the Avon

We had breakfast at The Boat Shed Cafe then took a 30-min punt ride down the Avon River. It was a relaxing and scenic ride but Anya’s favourite bit was feeding the ducks before and after the ride.

Antigua Boat Sheds

breakfast time

Eggs Ben (on a bagel)

pancakes and scrambled eggs

eggs on cafe loaf

punting time!

but first we need to feed the ducks

us in the boat (Deets doesn't seem too thrilled)

view of the sheds from the boat

Adrian and Anya in front

the Lobos behind

passing another boat

NZ Trip: Blenheim – Chocolate Factory and Cloudy Bay

We finally managed to get another spot of good weather and it couldn’t have come at a better time because we were going to Cloudy Bay! On our way to the winery, we dropped by Makana Chocolate Factory where we bought some yummy chocolates. Then we headed to Cloudy Bay winery for some wine-tasting and a light lunch. Anya had a great time running around and swinging on the wicker swing chairs.

We were originally headed to Nelson after Picton but a state of emergency had been declared there due to flooding caused by a collapsed dam. :( It was a real blessing that we chanced upon the news broadcast on the flood or we would have been quite miserable!

Makana Chocolate Factory

such a beautiful day! that's the car we drove while in NZ.

lots of chocolate for us to eat

a happy chocolate-taster

Cloudy Bay!

I love vineyards

the Lobos tasting wine

Deets enjoying the fresh air and sunshine

running free

Anya on one of the swings

cheese & charcuterie plate

Cloudy Bay trio

Cloudy Bay pizza

lunch with a view

NZ Trip: Wellington/ Picton – Interislander Ferry

We took a ferry from North Island to South Island. It was great fun for all of us because it was the first time we drove up onto a ship! After parking the car, we ate while lounging comfortably on sofas and napped. Anya was the happiest of us all because there was a playground on board and she spent the most part of the 3-hour ferry ride playing to her heart’s content.

some father-son bonding while waiting to drive up the ship

rows and rows of cars

game room



food court

kid's meal

dining area

land ahoy!

Deets impersonating Dr. Evil

NZ Trip: Wellington – Te Papa

Another bit of our trip that we really enjoyed was the Te Papa Museum of New Zealand. It is such a fantastic place! There was so much to see that we would have liked to spend the entire day there. Unfortunately, we only had an hour before our ferry ride.

Te Papa

Anya having a ball of a time

base isolator to absorb shaking during an earthquake

reading about the base isolators

Adrian trying to cause an earthquake

learning about how an earthquake affects the land

exploring New Zealand's flora and fauna

colossal squid!

Anya had fun at this discovery centre

exhibition on Māori life and heritage

Māori meeting house and storehouse

satellite map of New Zealand

NZ Trip: Wellington – Cable Car

We didn’t have very much time in Wellington so we went to take the cable car in the morning. Would have been nice if we could have walked around the area a bit more but it was drizzly so we just sat at the cafe.

the Wellington cable car

on our way up

the Lobos

view from the top

another family pic in the rain

posing on the old cable car

Anya checking out the guidebook

hot drinks for a rainy day

pies again

Deets and I