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Subject:A Few NZ Pics
Time:09:07 pm
Current Mood:Hobbiton


Been battling with my pc - it crashed again & I had to do a complete system restore. Fortunately this time I had most of my important stuff on disk. Its still not right, keeps closing down and coming up with strange messages but after numerous phone calls I still have no answers.

Anyway, in between all this fun I've been trying to sort out my NZ pics and write a report. Haven't got very far, no further than Hobbiton in fact, but decided to post what I have.



We arrived at Auckland Airport about 6.45 am on Friday 4th March – the inside entrance was very welcoming with a colourful display of tropical trees and flowers and a recording of singing birds playing. Unfortunately, after a total of 23hrs 15mins in the air from London via Los Angeles, I was too dazed to even think about taking a pic!! Transport had been laid on to take us to the New President Hotel but when we arrived we were in for a shock – we couldn’t have the room until 1pm!! It had never occurred to us that we wouldn’t just be able to check straight in and I don’t know if the travel agents were aware of this but bearing in mind it was still only about 7am we were not happy but there was nothing we could do about it. We left our cases there and staggered out onto the streets of Auckland. This was my least favourite day of the holiday. We weren’t really ready for sightseeing at that stage – we just wanted to wash, rest and sort ourselves out. As it turned out we didn’t really get to see much of Auckland – we strolled round a bit and sat by the harbour – when we did get our room we simply crashed out until late that night.

The next day, feeling refreshed after a long sleep and a good breakfast, we picked up our hire car and hit the road for Matamata. As we left Auckland behind we found ourselves driving through beautiful countryside – similar to the English landscape – and yet – not. There are palm trees and other tropical vegetation which you don’t get in England. And the houses – or rather bungalows - and most of the other buildings are built of wood. And everywhere seems more spacious, even though NZ and the UK are of very similar size.

We stopped at a little place called ‘Pokeno’ for coffee (where they were in the middle of a vintage car rally with all the participants in period costume!!). I think it was here, sitting outside that little café and looking out over the fields & distant mountains, that it really hit me that we were actually in New Zealand, thousands of miles from home. It was a strange and exciting feeling. After taking a couple of wrong turns we finally arrived at Matamata, or rather Hobbiton. Yes, there really is a board saying “Welcome to Hobbiton”. We proceeded to the tourist office to collect our tickets for the tour:

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The tour was hosted by two girls and the bus was almost full. Hobbiton is just idyllic and I found this whole experience very emotional. It was also very exhausting – I didn’t realise the climb to Bag End was so steep and at one point I didn’t think I’d make it. Perhaps I should explain that I’m not very good on my feet – due to childhood problems and several operations I have very weak leg muscles and climbing up slopes or steps is difficult. But thankfully I made it. Here are a few pics of beautiful Hobbiton – we took loads more which is a good job as we didn’t take our video camera. I was sure I’d read that you’re not allowed to take videos but, as you might guess, there was someone using one. Damn!!

The entrance to hallowed ground!!
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The Road goes ever on:
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I would love to see this place in springtime. It was late summer when we were there and although there was still plenty of lovely greenery, some of it had turned brown – a problem they had to contend with during filming.
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Some of those famous NZ sheep!
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Some pics taken during filming:
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The films set still belongs to New Line btw - can't understand why they've never restored it to how it was, surely it would be in their own interest:
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Don’t know why I’m looking so serious!!
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The Party Tree!!
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And there it is - beloved Bag End!!
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The bridge is gone now.
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This was an amazing sight. There used to be a hobbit hole there but for some reason it was taken down and they planted all these wild flowers. I think it was the hobbit hole belonging to the grumpy couple who Frodo & Gandalf pass in the cart:
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Entrance to Bag End:
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View from Bag End:
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The most famous steps in the world. In my opinion, anyway!!
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It doesn't really matter how many pics you take, you can't really convey the beauty and serenity of that place.



Glad to see Lij getting such good reviews for 'Sin City'. However, this is one I will NOT be going to see. Not my sort of film - I'm really not into violence and horror, too much of that in real life, IMO. And I'm very squeamish - when they say something is not suitable for those 'of a nervous disposition' - thats me!! I'm not sitting through all that just for 5 mins of Kevin - I'll wait for the dvd to come out. Then I can skip through & go straight to Lij - but I'll probably have to watch from behind the sofa with one eye covered:-)
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scouty
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-05 11:07 pm (UTC)
i´ve been there last year and i´ll be back in matamata in december
cant wait
isnt it just amazing ?
where have you been in new zealand apart from auckland and matamata ?
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 10:30 am (UTC)
I envy you going back in December - hope I may get back there one day. We drove down the North Island, stopping at Rotorua one night, Tongariro National Park two nights, Wellington 3 nights. We then flew to Queenstown on the South Island, stayed 3 nights, drove back up to Christchurch, staying one night at Lake Tekapo, and one night in Christchurch. Will be posting more details asap:)
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teresarosewood
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-05 11:37 pm (UTC)
Oh how completely beautiful and amazing!


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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 10:31 am (UTC)
Thank you - beautiful & amazing just about sums up NZ:)
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baranduin
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-05 11:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, those pics bring back such wonderful memories of going to New Zealand!

Meep! Want to go back :-)

Thanks for posting!
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 10:32 am (UTC)
I'd like to think we'll be able to go back one day - two weeks is not long enough, we only scratched the surface:)
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shirebound
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 12:39 am (UTC)
Oh how I wish I could have been there with you! Thank you for showing us these beautiful pictures.

(I'll join you in not seeing "Sin City" -- I think I'd spend the whole movie under my seat, whimpering!)
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 10:42 am (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed them - will post more asap.

As I said, I will get the SC dvd but I know I'll really have to psyche myself up to watch Kevin, it sounds horrific:)

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alchemie
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 01:36 am (UTC)
What beautiful pictures. Absolutely amazing!
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 10:43 am (UTC)
Thank you - glad you liked them. Will post more soon:)
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lilithlotr
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 01:58 am (UTC)
seriously, if it bothers you that much, just look at the caps. His part is the scariest of all....

SHEEP UNDER THE PARTY TREE!

At least, my group was so large we chased them all away. Of course, that was the week before premiere week and they had literally hundreds of tourists when I was there
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 10:53 am (UTC)
"His part is the scariest of all...."

Oh dear. Perhaps you're right. From what I've read, its not so much what Kevin does that scares me, its what happens to him. Don't think I could take that.

I envy you being in NZ during the premiere - there must have been such an air or excitement everywhere:)
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lilithlotr
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-07 02:37 am (UTC)
Yes, prior to that I'd thought being in San Francisco during Pride week was the biggest celebration I'd ever seen. Mind you, all of NZ wasn't into ROTK mode, but an awful lot of it was. Definitely a country-wide event.
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frodoholic
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 05:49 am (UTC)
Wow Beautiful!!! You lucky girl!!!! It is a shame that they did not leave more of the set behind, but whats left is sacred anyway! (even if it is plywood) ;-) Oooo the stairs! Bag End! I'd be crying...no..make that bawling and kissing the ground(and embarrassing everyone.)
I see Elijah/Frodo in the photograph. He's on the far right, center. *dies*
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 11:01 am (UTC)
I've heard hints from more than one source that NL may actually restore the site to how it was. The tour guide mentioned that some 'girls' had kissed the BE steps because EW had stood there!! If everyone could have just disappeared for a while I'd have done the same!! Just too inhibited. Yes, I'm pretty sure that is him in the pic - I'll try to work out what I did wrong with the cropped pic & post with my next entry:)
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bagendbabe
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-06-11 04:46 pm (UTC)
Oh I do so hope they restore the site. I can't for the life of me understand why they let it go, or at least haven't restored it. What a tourist attraction!

And I would kiss the steps too :)
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ourdramaqueen
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 06:26 am (UTC)
Squeee!!! Gorgeous pics, thank you so much for sharing! I can't wait for December - for once! :D
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 11:03 am (UTC)
Glad you liked them - are you going there in December? (Sorry if you've mentioned this already, got a memory like a sieve!!).
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ourdramaqueen
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 12:41 pm (UTC)
Yes I am!!! *bounce* LOL they should tie us together then - I mentioned it to several people, but not sure if you were one of them or not... :)
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primula_baggins
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 06:30 am (UTC)
So beautiful. I think my favorites are looking down from Bag End and the place where they planted all the flowers. But the whole area is beautiful. It is a bit sad to see the hobbit holes so in disrepair, but I understand why. Sort of. The stairs were great too. Glad you had a good time and hope to hear more about your trip. This will be a wonderful memory for you, and now when you watch the movies, you'll have a whole different way of seeing them.
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 11:21 am (UTC)

I just gasped in amazement when I first saw those wild flowers - so lovely. As I mentioned to someone above, I have heard that NL may restore the site at some time. I've watched some bits of the films & the dvd extras since we came back and it is great to see placed you've actually been to. That was how we discovered that the hotel we stayed at in Queenstown was where they used the squash court for filming. Wish I'd known at the time:)
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primula_baggins
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 12:44 pm (UTC)
OK yes, now I know which hotel you're speaking of. I just watched the extras on the ROTK DVD last weekend where they show the part about the squash court in the hotel in Queenstown. How cool that you were actually there! Imagine how they took over that squash court for a whole year. That was a very cooperative hotel. Of course, they were paid for it, but still.
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(Anonymous)
Subject:NZ trip
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 06:41 am (UTC)
Oh, Pauli! I have to tell you: I am shivering from excitment! NICE! NICE! NICE!! If you do not mind I would translate your story about NZ trip from E. to Czech, is it ok? And may I take any your pic? It would be for Czech LOTR websites where I write some articles (M Shock knows it), thanx. I´m looking forward to antoher part of your story.
Allie
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not_alone
Subject:Re: NZ trip
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 11:24 am (UTC)
Hi Allie!! Of course you can use my story & pics for the Czech site - I'm flattered!! Will post more as soon as possible:)
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primula_baggins
Subject:Re: NZ trip
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 12:46 pm (UTC)
Hi Allie!

Yes, not_alone, Allie does a very nice job with the Czech web site. It is beautiful. She translated some of my recollections of the ORC convention last January and included pictures.
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altuniverse
Subject:Sin City
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 04:50 pm (UTC)
DON'T SEE SIN CITY.

Believe me, the way you feel about Elijah, it will not be a good experience for you.

Mary
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not_alone
Subject:Re: Sin City
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 07:20 pm (UTC)
I think you may be right. I have read all the grisly details of what happens to him, and it may only be acting but I really don't think I could stomach seeing that.
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woodfrodo
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-06 11:56 pm (UTC)
So glad you had a shire time and being able to see where Frodo was? Ahh..Lovely photos, and hope all of the shots don't go away completely, cause i hope to visit soon? mm.. And do have a photo of elijah on those stairs as Frodo.. :D
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-08 07:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm sure it will all be there for many more years to come. In fact, I've heard its possible they might restore it to how it was in the film. Yes, I know the pic you mean - Frodo standing on the Bag End steps smoking his pipe:)
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woodfrodo
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-12 07:39 am (UTC)
Thanks N_A.. yup, that's the photo I have too. :D
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frisbyg
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-07 05:11 pm (UTC)
oh thank you for posting those beautiful photos! I wasn't sure about going on the Hobbiton tour when I am in NZ, but now I certainly am. <3
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-08 07:36 pm (UTC)
Oh yes - you must go, you won't regret it, believe me:)
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janejanejane
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-18 07:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for this report and the pics - it's really whetted my appetite for our trip there in August! We're doing the Red Carpet tour, btw. I don't know what the weather will be like in August in NZ but as I work in a school it's the only holiday that's long enough for me to go as I can't take holidays in term time. I'm going with hubby Chris of 30 years and son James who's Lij's age. And it'll be my first ever flight anywhere by plane so I hope I'll be all right...!
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janejanejane
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-18 07:06 pm (UTC)
PS Is it okay if I friend you?
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-20 03:03 pm (UTC)
"PS Is it okay if I friend you?"

Of course it is :o)

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janejanejane
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-22 07:50 pm (UTC)
Did you get my e-mail address? I'll re-send it if you send me yours... Would love to hear about your meetings with HIM! :)
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-22 08:58 pm (UTC)
Oh dear - I've done something silly:( I only discovered your email address today, for some reason it didn't arrive in my mailbox & I was looking at your LJ wondering if you had it on your front page & just came upon your message by chance. I then proceeded to write you a very long email this afternoon from work (thats how busy we are!!) & I can remember as clearly as anything pressing the 'Send Now' button. The thing is - I don't know where its gone because I have no recollection whatsoever of typing your email address at the top!! Because I was in quite a hurry to send it by the time I got to the end, I can't remember whether I got the message confirming it had been sent but alas, it is not in my 'sent' folder. I can't believe it - it took me ages, and I'm quite worried about where it might have gone!! Anyway, I promise I will try to resend it over the weekend but I'm expecting my computer to crash again at any moment, I've been having terrible problems with it. If that does happen, I will have to try on Monday at work. So sorry about that - but I will get it to you eventually somehow :o)
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janejanejane
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-04-22 09:37 pm (UTC)
Oh dear, poor you! It's so annoying when something like this happens... So do you actually have my email address? If not it's jane.rounce@lineone.net. Thank you for that lovely long e-mail and I look forward to receiving something from you whenever you manage to send or re-send it. I'm really sorry that you sent this email that you've obviously spent ages writing only to have it disappear into the ether... Usually if you try sending something without putting the email address at the top it comes up with a message to that effect when you click on "Send", so I wonder where it's gone...? Very strange!
Thank you anyway! I'll let you know when and if it does reach me.
Jane
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bagendbabe
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-06-10 11:07 pm (UTC)
Oh Pauline! As you know I have an AWFUL lot going on my mind the moment and have not been around here for a good couple of weeks, but your holiday was ages ago!

I am so sorry, I really don't know how I missed your reports and photos as I have been popping in occasionally!

What an incredible experience. I haven't had a holiday for years, but if I just had to choose just one destination in the world, it would have to be NZ. What a shame they have not restored Hobbiton, though. I agree, it would make the most amazing tourist attraction! Any other country would have, I am sure!

*now off to very belatedly look at your other pages* *hangs head in shame*

*hugs you*
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2005-06-11 04:02 pm (UTC)
Don't worry Julie - I know you've had a lot going on recently & can't get online very often. So glad you enjoyed the pics - sometimes I can't believe we were actually there, but then I look at the pics & the video footage and it all comes flooding back. Such a lovely place. Hope you're ok - *hugs*
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[icon] A Few NZ Pics - NotAlone
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