Bag End

Bag End

Bilbos home from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbits!

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Currently in Matamata

in their library using free wifi! 😀

Let me tell you why…

So we arrived in Mt. Maunganui yesterday evening at about 4:20pm and we were lucky our hostel was right beside the bus stop, The Pacific Coast Lodge. It’s pretty handy because it was pouring with rain so we only got a little wet. The lodge itself is pretty well organised and nice to stay in, pity that our room is right beside the path and the blinds aren’t great so at night time when the lights are on you can actually see into the room! Other than that it’s pretty good, a tiny bit more expensive than other hostels and lodges but if it saves us from carrying heavy rucksacks for 10+ minutes then it’s well worth it!

So we got up this morning at 6am, had breakfast and headed out to Matamata on  6:50am bus! We got there super early so barely anything was open! Luckily a cafe, Robert Harris, was open and with wifi so we stayed there until the i-Site opened (9am). The i-Site is a pretty cool looking building! You know you’re in the right place when you see it!

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We prebooked our tickets to see the Hobbiton Movie set so when we got to the i-Site we got an earlier time because the weather was due to get MUCH worse than it already was. Also because there is absolutely NOTHING to do here unless you have a car.. so hence is why we are in the library after coming back from Hobbiton trying to kill a few hours before our bus comes at 8pm (Only 2:33pm now and library closes at 5pm)!

Anywho… before we set off to Hobbiton, we got fresh cream donuts.. can’t go wrong there! I’ll share my experience of Hobbiton in my next post!

 

 

A one night stay in Rotorua..

So the last post about Taupo was written a few days ago because internet has been very much so lacking in our lives. So just a bit of update:

In Rotorua:

Everything there was so expensive! There’s nothing really to do there that’s affordable really, so a one day trip is really more than enough for us low-budget tourists! The Wai-O-Tapu thermal wonderland was HIGHLY recommended to us and we went the next morning at 9am (our bus was 3pm so plenty of time). So the day before the wonderland, there was hardly anything for us to do. The weather wasn’t the best so we just walked around. Kuirau park was recommended to go to if you’re a low budget traveller, but it really isn’t anything worth mentioning apart from the fact that it smells REAAALLY bad of sulphur by the pondy areas?

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It’s only a short walk and you could have it all walked in 10 minutes. So after that we went to the lakeside which was rather nice!

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Then we took a detour back paying the blue baths and the big house a visit!

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When we got back, I went to get $4.90 pizza from Pizza Hut for dinner! Pouring rain though so I got pretty soaked! But all worth it! I missed the thunderstorm by a minute! Crazy thunder and lightening that night! Lucky the next day at Wai-O-Tapu wasn’t too bad!

So Wai-O-Tapu… It was good, but Kieran and I didn’t think it was worth the money that we paid for. $30 for the shuttle up which wasn’t too bad because we were brought to see the crater in the mountains with geothermal activity, the mud pools, and the lady knox geyser.

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These were pretty cool to see and we’re glad we got to see them before entering the wonderland because you might think everything is in there but they’re actually not. They’re close to the wonderland though so not too bad! It costed us a total of $58.50 for the entry into the wonderland, which costed us a total of pretty much $120 to see the geothermal activities. If it was $10 or even $15, I would have said it was worth it because it’s only an hour self-guided tour and the things you see are quite the same. Some were cool, don’t get me wrong, but the the amount you pay and what you get I just don’t think it was really worth it. Here are the nicer parts of the wonderland! 🙂

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So… I don’t think I’d really recommend Rotorua to cheap-low-budget travellers because most touristy stuff to do costs quite a bit. Well at least we can say we’ve been there done that! 🙂

Next stop, Taupo!

We left Hastings a few days ago. Feels just like yesterday when we left! We headed to Taupo on a Nakedbus. We stayed in Camellio Court Motel which is a budget accomodation, so we got a tiny room with a tv. It was enough for us though because we were only staying for 2 nights. When we got there, we met some lovely people, in particular a man who worked there called Richard. He suggested a few places for us to go and when we told him we don’t have a car, he offered to drive us around. After an hour of chatting, he officially claimed himself to be our personal taxi driver during our stay there! It was really sweet of him! He showed us to the natural spa pools which I mentioned in my last post, I HIGHLY recommend going there if you visit Taupo! It’s just off spa road beside the Taupo Bungy! It’s a beautiful walk down and you can go for a swim if you like! The spa there really warms you up inside out!

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We decided to check out the Huka Falls the next day and the Huka honey hives (because it said on our tourist map that you get free honey tasting!) We trekked for about 45-50 minutes, it wasn’t as tough as the Abel Tasman walk, but it wasn’t an easy walk either! Some uphills, some downhills, but it was graaaand! 😀 It was worth it! The scene throughout our whole walk was beautiful! They also have some interesting facts about the fall!

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Around the corner from the Huka falls, you can go to Huka Honey Hives (probably 10minutes walk from the falls) and they’ve lots of honey p roducts and some interesting facts about honey bees! Worth going ..because you do get free tasting of honey wines and liqueurs! Boysenberry and honey red wine was my favourite! Pity they are glass bottles, small, and expensive! Next time I’ll be sure to buy some 😛 You also get to taste a variety of honeys made from various flowers! Worth trying.. because who knew that honeys from different flowers could taste so different!

 

Free natural spa pools!

Theres a free natural spa in Spa Thermal Park on Spa Road in Taupo! SOOOOO Nice! The waters we’re at least 40oC! It was pretty cool having the hot water run into the cool river water because you’d feel streams of cold water when you were in the hot pools!
The best part is it’s free!

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