After spending the night in the worst hotel, so hot and stuffy and noisy, no hot water to speak of so we gave up and left this little hell hole and quickly drove to Mata Mata and the Hobbiton Movie Set. We did this last time and we still loved it, although we did not get the thrill of seeing everything brand new for the first time – listening to the oohs and ahhs from the others in our group. A much bigger group than last time, the whole venture is much more commercialised than last time. We actually had a little trouble getting tickets, we were shocked at how difficult this would be years later. Trust me it is even more popular than before, but such a great spot to visit, whether you’re a fan of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit or not.
Want to check out my pics from last time? – click here
We sadly left Hobbiton, I knew after two visits, I probably would not be back, nothing can beat your very first visit! Back into Taupo for lunch and then onto Napier. We had hoped to visit two waterfalls on the way but never found them (badly signposted), but we would eventually find them towards the end of our trip. We got to Napier and found…nothing. I am sorry but after many conversations with people in my Tog group, no-one could tell me what was so darn special about Napier. We could not get accommodation anywhere near here, not Hastings, Napier or Gisborne, could not even find a coffee! Making Art Deco signs and plastering them on everything does not make a building Art Deco, the real art deco buildings were covered up in graffiti or posters or scaffolding, nothing pretty about any of it, no coffee and no accommodation, I pretty much cracked the shits and left – I am sorry if you love that town, but I found it was dirty and ugly and I am not overly interested in boring architecture, and no vintage cars or such around. We Left!
We ended up driving out to Waipukurau, we seemed to be having such bad luck with accommodation, we also tried to book tickets to Weta Studio, it was also booked out months in advance. We booked what appeared to be the last room in Wellington, looked quite seedy, interesting to see just how bad it would get, but we really did want to stay in Wellington to see the sights. We should have stayed in Petone, we spent a lot of time there, but we had no idea it would become such a great favourite for us. With not much to do, we sat back and watched some bad TV.