Welcome to Mordor.

DSC_0065_2Part of the plan (not mine) was to hike through the Tongariro National Park up to Mt Ngauruhoe, also known as Mount Doom. I’m sure you remember the infamous journey Frodo and Sam made to destroy that infamous ring, I just wasn’t ready to fight off all those Orcs! Luckily for me (sadly for Nick and Bryan) the mountain was covered in snow and high winds in a bit of unusual Summer weather and we just weren’t prepared for something like that. We were able to do another beautiful hike (photos coming soon) but here are some photos of the beautiful mountain range.

DSC_0076_2(“The area has jagged volcanic rock formations and eerie barren landscapes, ideally suited to Mordor’s hissing wasteland.”)

DSC_0072_2(I said “hello” to the neighboring cows but they hated me)

DSC_0242_2(“Much of Frodo and Sam’s journey into the land of Sauron was filmed on and around the Tongariro National Park“- super cool, huh?!)

DSC_0244_2(I can’t explain how overwhelming it was, I can see why Peter Jackson chose it for the movies)

I’m not much of a hiker but from what I hear, this is a really great trek! It is also an active volcano which can be a little scary but also pretty cool if it doesn’t erupt while you are walking across it. 🙂

Craters of the Moon.

DSC_0256_2In the North island of New Zealand, we visited Craters of the Moon in the city of Taupo. It was a 45 minute walk that showed off all of the thermal activity including bubbling craters and steam vents. You could hear the water under the Earth bubbling which in turn created all of the steam. It was unreal, like something out of Jurassic Park. They call it “Gollum’s Lair” in our guide book which isn’t exactly accurate (as they didn’t film that there) but it was fun to think that he lived there.

DSC_0283_2(The steam was huge and went high into the sky)

DSC_0301_2(Just take a look at all of this thermal activity!)

DSC_0325_2(Bryan and I walked into the steam and my sunglasses got all fogged up and blinded me. It was fun!)

DSC_0332_2(Each of those small holes created a ton of steam and were pretty loud as well)

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Just another natural wonder in New Zealand. Such fun, I can’t wait to go back!

Hobbiton.

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I have just returned from a 3 week trip to Australia and New Zealand. It was so much fun but I am happy to be home and sleeping in my own bed! While I have so many amazing things that I am going to share with you, I want to start with my favorite night of the trip- the evening we spent in Hobbiton. Oh yes, it’s real. And if you are anything like me- you are obsessed with the magic of these incredible films. Being there made me relive the fun and fantasy all over again. If you have a chance to go to the North island of New Zealand, don’t miss this one of a kind attraction!

DSC_0523_2(A glance of the Shire- 44 Hobbit homes in all)

DSC_0528_2(Each home is carefully constructed to look completely real, while the inside is hollow)

DSC_0559(I loved the grass on all of the rooftops and most of the flowers and vegetables were real! They have a full time gardener on hand to keep everything flourished and alive)

DSC_0007(Oh hey, is Bilbo home?)

DSC_0011(The home of our favorite Baggins’- Bilbo & Frodo)

DSC_0563_2(It’s just our size. We’ll take it!)

DSC_0565(Lookout Point of the Shire)

DSC_0071(Headed across the bridge to the Green Dragon for a drink and dinner)

DSC_0059(Enjoying some special Hobbit brew and apple cider)

DSC_0067(The view from the Green Dragon)

DSC_0082(Music played outside from the film so we decided to dance- when in Hobbiton!)

DSC_0023(Recognize this from Bilbo’s 111th birthday?)

DSC_0088(They cooked a feast fit for a Hobbit- no manners needed here!)

DSC_0134(To conclude the evening we were sent out with lanterns and explored the Shire once more)

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DSC_0163(Goodnight Hobbiton)

If you are interested in learning more, click here. I recommend booking the night tour which is available on Wednesdays, it was unbelievable and our tour guides were so much fun and accommodating.