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Auckland, New Zealand: My day as a hobbit.

Monday, February 9, 2015

In amidst the stress of completing my honors degree last winter, I decided to take myself on a much needed 4-day vacation across the Tasman Sea to Auckland. I wasn't greeted with the friendliest of weather for the activities I had planned, but that's my own fault for planning a winter journey. Nonetheless, I had no tour cancellations and made the most of the yugen moments that presented themselves to me. First stop: Hobbiton!

Six critically-acclaimed films later, there's little doubt that anyone playing a game of association would not pair 'New Zealand' with 'Lord of the Rings' or 'The Hobbit' instantaneously. In tune with this, when I decided to take myself across the Tasman Sea, the first plan I made was to visit Hobbiton.

In my search for a Hobbiton tour, I stumbled across an Auckland based tour company called Flexitours which not only provided an intimate and affordable day-tour from Auckland to Hobbiton, but also allowed me to visit Rotorua and the Waitomo Glow Worm caves whilst I was in the neighbourhood (more on these soon). However, if not all three destinations are for you (or there is somewhere else you'd rather visit), as their name suggests, Flexitours are happy to adapt the tour to your requests.

After my private transfer to Hobitton, I joined one of the locally run Hobbiton movie set tours, which takes you for a walk all around the Shire. To this day, I still reference my emotions on this walk as the 10 on my 1-10 happiness scale. As evidenced below, I spent 99% of my time skipping around the Shire and the remaining 1% enjoying FREE cider in the Green Dragon Inn (yes it really does exist!!!).

Both Hobbiton guides that I talked to (I was so delirious with happiness that I stumbled into another tour group at some point) were amazingly informative and generally pleasant people to talk about Hobbit-related or non-Hobbit related things to. The length of the tour was just right, and provided ample time for the previously mentioned leisurely skipping around the Shire, filling an 8gb memory card with photos and relaxing and making new friends by the fireplace in the Green Dragon.

With the <$400 price tag attached to a return airfare from Australia, there is really no reason that you are not currently on the Jetstar website booking a summer, winter, spring or autumn Auckland adventure right now.

Repeat after Bilbo, "I'm going on an adventure!"