Wednesday, May 21, 2014

New Zealand Day 2: Waitomo and Hobbiton

We took another coach bus tour from Auckland to the Waitomo Caves and to the Hobbiton movie set in Matamata. You can't take pictures in the caves, so I posted a link to their website so you can get an idea. It was quite possibly the coolest thing I've ever done. And, you are supposed to be silent when you're in the cave and our kids did surprisingly well. I was full of awe the entire time. Loved it.

Views from the bus:

This is the forest outside the cave.
 Another view from the bus:

 We transferred to a bus to take us from Rotarua to the Hobbiton movie set.

 The signs for everything were handpainted in Lord of the Rings font. So fun.

 They have one hobbit hole that the door actually opens so you can take pictures.

This is the tree on top of Bag End. They told us that Peter Jackson had the tree MADE for the movie. It's made of steel and plastic. All of the leaves were strung on by hand.
 Here's a close up... you can kind of tell they're fake leaves.
 Bag End

 "The Party Tree" near where Bilbo gives his final speech at his birthday party.

 Gandalf's cutting.
 Samwise and Rosie's house.

 The tour ended at the Green Dragon where they gave us all a drink. The only thing that was non-alcoholic was ginger beer, but it was good stuff.

 They even had some costumes to put on for pictures.
It was a great day. We took about 300 pictures. It is amazing the attention to detail that they had for this movie, and the time and money spent to make things just so. It was fun to hear about some of the tricks they used to make things work, like filming Gandalf and Bilbo smoking their pipes while the sun was rising, and then reversing the footage to make it look like a sunset. The kids had no idea why this was cool and actually kept talking about Harry Potter (which they also know nothing about)... but someday they'll get it!

1 comment:

Hannah Neville McMillan said...