RTW Days 45-47
The final leg of our trip was upon us. On the 8th we drove from Rotorua to Auckland, stopping for another Lord of the Rings site: Hobbiton. We were in for a fantastic treat. After LOTR was filmed, the Hobbiton set was removed and all that remained were the grassy hills of the sheep farm on which it had been built. Fortunately for us, the entire set plus some had been rebuilt for The Hobbit, and the production company was still allowing tours to continue. It was beautiful and detailed and so cool. This was one of the highlights of my entire RTW trip! It started to rain on us again, but I was still able to take a lot of pictures in between cloud-bursts. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to post any of the wonderful Hobbiton photos I took of the set until after The Hobbit comes out.
When we had seen the set and watched a sheep shearing, we continued up the road to Auckland.
On our last day of exploration, Josh and I visited the Auckland Zoo. It was a very nice zoo with all of the favorite animals: 5 lions, 3 tigers, 2 cheetahs, an elephant (they are planning on getting some more so she’s not lonely), giraffes, rhinos, hippopotamuses. There were some extremely loud monkeys that I got a great video of. They make loud hooting sounds when someone is in their territory – and all the people visiting the zoo were obviously too close for their comfort.
We were able to watch the lions come out and find new smells in their pen. Also, the tigers getting fed their dinner and the orangutans being fed their dinner as well. It started raining on the orangutans and they all pulled out tarps to keep the rain off of their heads, much like all the visitors of the zoo watching them.
We had a fabulous trip, taking our time and having a much more leisurely pace for our itinerary than our previous RTW trip in 2009. It was time to go home though, and we got on our airplane and headed back to the USA the following day.
I really love these pictures, Char. You captured some beautiful animal shots. That is not always easy to do. I enjoy the comments you make as well. It “almost” feels like I went with you.