New Zealand day 2 we made our way to The Shire – aka Hobbiton.  On our way we saw green, green and green.  Oh, and sheep.  Don’t know if you know, but there are sheep in New Zealand.  More sheep than people


We got to Hobbiton in time for our tour.  I was proud of us for this.  We were driving a caravan in a foreign country and trusting in a combination of GPS navigator and human navigator to get us there.  There were lots of Hobbit houses in Hobbiton and all looked like they’d be nice and cozy to live in.  If they weren’t so darn small.

We left Hobbiton – in Matamata – and drove somewhere south of Matamata on the way we saw sheep.  Newly shorn sheep.  I don’t know anything about sheep, but it seems like it isn’t so nice to take away all their warm fur at the beginning of winter.

Side note – The problem with not documenting something when it happens is that you sort of forget where you were and maybe even what you were doing.  But luckily there are pictures to document that something was done somewhere.

We also found lunch and this sign.  Which I liked enough to snap a photo.

The last thing we had to do was find a place to park our caravan for the night.  That might be a photo from where we stopped the first night.  I really don’t remember.  We stayed at several different motor parks and more than one of them was a Kiwi Motor Park.

Does 2 times make a tradition?

Chan graduated in 2013 and to celebrate we took a family vacation to Tokyo.  Chan’s choice and very conveniently someplace the whole family was keen to see.  This year Aly graduated and we celebrated with a trip to New Zealand.  Her choice and, again, somewhere the entire family wanted to see.

I did a much better job of documenting Tokyo, but I’m going to try to make up for it now.

We flew Chiang Mai to Bangkok and Bangkok to Auckland.  The picture below was taken right before Sam happened to check his inflight entertainment screen and noticed how long we were going to be in this plane.  For some reason we never thought to check how long the flight was and were surprised (and not pleasantly) to discover that Bangkok to Auckland takes 11+ hours.  Our smiles quickly faded.

11 hours later we arrived in Auckland and immediately started breaking the rules.

And found the first bit of middle earth.

We were picked up at the airport.  Given an introduction to the Caravan that we would be our home for the week and we were off.