Feasting at Hobbiton – Evening Banquet Tour

Let’s get into it – The Evening Banquet Tour includes a tour of Hobbiton Movie Set and costs $190 for an adult. Our tour started at 4.30pm from Shires Rest Cafe where we boarded a bus to Hobbiton. Our guide Belinda then took us on a guided tour through the magical Shire.

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour - I want to live here

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour – I want to live here

We arrived at The Green Dragon Inn around 6pm, chose our complimentary beverage, then waited for the big feast reveal at 6.30pm.

The Green Dragon Inn from afar (photo taken during the day)

The Green Dragon Inn from afar (photo taken during the day)

The curtains were parted to … Read the rest

Wendelton Guinea Pig Village, Nelson

Guinea pigs aren’t related to pigs and they don’t come from Guinea, they are the domesticated relations of the Brazilian guinea pig. The guinea pigs at Wendelton Guinea Pig Village couldn’t care less, it’s all about friendship and carrots for them.

Carrots please

Carrots please

And carrots are good for them because they’re hard, and guinea pigs teeth are continually growing. However carrot is like cake to guinea pigs, and another guinea pig fact – the little critters can get diabetes, so too much carrot is a no no. They like lots of friends though and are very sociable, so village … Read the rest

World of WearableArt & Classic Cars Museum, Nelson

As a fan of Wearable Art and classic cars, the World of WearableArt & Classic Cars Museum in Nelson provided plenty of bang for my $24 bucks. I counted 75 pieces of wearable art and around 150 classic cars, more on the classic cars in a later post.

Illumination Section at World of WearableArt & Classic Cars Museum, Nelson

Illumination Section at World of WearableArt & Classic Cars Museum, Nelson

If you go to a wearable art show it’s not always easy to appreciate the intricacies of the creations, so the Museum allows visitors to get up close and see the details. You can spend as long as you like looking … Read the rest

Paying it forward in Auckland

Walking up Queen Street in Auckland recently I passed a man sitting with his belongings outside the Louis Vuitton store. Framed in the window above the man’s head was a handbag with Vincent Van Gogh’s art work all over it. It struck me that Vincent Van Gogh would likely have more in common with the man sitting on the street than he would with someone who could afford to buy a designer handbag.

The homeless people on Queen Street are the visible homeless, there are many more, some sleep in cars and some live in overcrowded accommodation.

We should be … Read the rest

South Street, Nelson

If you like cute cottages take a wander down historic South Street near Nelson’s town centre. South Street was originally known as Town Acre 456 and the first little cottages were built in the 1860’s.

Harriett's Cottage, No. 13 South Street in Nelson (built in 1863)

Harriett’s Cottage, No. 13 South Street in Nelson (built in 1863)

Over time some of the cottages became run down and in 1981 a few could have been demolished to make way for a motel. However South Street residents campaigned to keep the street intact and today it is recognised and protected as a Heritage Precinct.

No. 14 South Street in Nelson

No. 14 South Street in Nelson

To help enhance … Read the rest

Le Petit Cafe, Samoa

Le Petit Cafe is run by a friendly bunch of women and is well known for its crepes. If you’re lucky there may also be pumpkin pie to go with your coconut cream latte.

Coconut cream latte, pumpkin pie and iced Koko Samoa at Le Petit Cafe, Apia

Coconut cream latte, pumpkin pie and iced Koko Samoa at Le Petit Cafe, Apia

Waffles, omelettes and homemade granola are on the breakfast menu, and there are eleven types of crepes to choose from. If you like Kit Kats you could try the Isabella crepe ($20) – Kit Kat, vanilla ice cream and more Kit Kat. For local flavour try Iris ($13) – siamu popo (coconut … Read the rest

Napier Street Art – Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans

PangeaSeed Foundation is an international organisation that takes oceans into the streets to raise awareness of marine environment issues like pollution, plastic use and over fishing. They use what they call ARTivism – a combination of art and activism to educate and inspire people around the world to think more about their environmental impact, and it is done in a creative and thought provoking way …….

Frank And Mimi

Responsible Consumption

‘Responsible Consumption’ by Frank & Mimi. “Plastic – The Modern Miracle That Never Breaks Down” (Napier Sailing Club in Ahuriri)

House of Meggs

'Message in a Bottle' - Plastic Pollution (this is only a small part of a much larger mural). By Meggs & Phibs

‘Message in a Bottle’ – Plastic Pollution (this

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Glide Time – Taupo Gliding Club

Mike’s keen to learn to fly a plane, but lessons are expensive, so instead I bought him a voucher to go gliding with the fine folks at Taupo Gliding Club. It costs $205 for an instructional flight that lasts 20 – 40 minutes depending on the weather. You get to take control of the glider, in Mike’s case for about 5 minutes.

Seat belt on and under instruction at Taupo Gliding Club

Seat belt on and under instruction at Taupo Gliding Club

The glider was a GTG, Mike sat at the front and the qualified pilot behind. Mike found it easy to understand the instrument panel and flying … Read the rest

Northland Kauri

Northland is a region at the top of the North Island starting just north of Wellsford and continuing to the top of the Northland Peninsula.

There are many reasons to visit Northland, one is to see the mighty kauri tree Tane Mahuta and to learn about the kauri industry. The kauri industry played a key role in Northland’s history and development and kauri trees continue to draw visitors to the area today.

Kauri boats and furniture at Matakohe Kauri Museum

Kauri boats and furniture at Matakohe Kauri Museum

Below is a list of kauri related places to visit, website links and books for those interested in a kauri … Read the rest

Artists Open Studios Whanganui 2017

If you want to fire up your creativity visiting Artists Open Studios in Whanganui is one way to do it. It was my second trip to Open Studios (2015 blog post) and this year I allowed two days instead of one, a good move as there was lots to see including …..

Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre, 83 Maria Place Ext.
Inspiration started here – what do you think you can do with plastic milk bottle tops and peanut butter lids? Make this brilliant mural. (The Maori words translate to “The river flows, From the mountains to the sea, I … Read the rest