Hobbiton, Waitomo, Rotorua, and FAQ

I’ll be a bit briefer today. The day before yesterday was primarily about visiting Hobbiton Movie Set which to me surprised positively – however, the girls who haven’t seen the movie were a little less enthusiastic, though they did find the little facades funny. The amount of details in the set is amazing, and the guided tour was good, so I’ll just share a few pictures.







Yesterday we had a slow start in the camp site in Waitomo. There was a swimming pool, so the girls were kept busy, while Mads and I had a few extra cups of coffee. Early in the afternoon we joined the Spellbound tours for a tour of the famous glowworm caves. This particular tour was recommended to us, and it really was a very special experience. We were only 12 people in the tour group with our own guide, and we spent a lot of time in the two caves that he took us through. The glowworm experience was amazing – I did take some pictures, but they don’t really do it justice, so add a little extra with your imagination.



Today we have been at Hell’s Gate – the name of the geothermal paradise which is one of the main things that Rotorua is known for, besides its large concentration of Maori culture. We’ve seen hot mud pools, bathed in a sulphur mineral pool, and walked through a rumbling and steaming volcanic landscape. Everything smells like sulphide here, and it’s quite fascinating how steam is coming up from natural vents all over the area



The vehicle – we’re calling him Børge BumleBus – is totally ok. Probably not the fanciest, but we have what we need, and so far, he takes us around just fine. Mads had to get used to the fact that everything is in the wrong side, but now it’s like it’s all he’s ever done. Børge BumleBus does a bit of rattling and rumbling, but I guess that only adds to the authentic road trip feel. The girls are seated way in the back when we’re driving, so it’s nice and quiet up here in the front. Nahh – I think they’re happy with it. 😉

The weather – a bit like summer in Denmark, and then still a bit warmer. It changes quickly, though, and from now on we’re remembering our raincoats when we go for a hike. We have had rain every day here except today, but never for long.

The soundtrack – we downloaded a few more or less random playlists from Spotify the evening before we flew out here. Right now the popular requests are a wonderful mix between Christmas songs and summer hits. The Støvle Dance is a big hit with the backing singers, and so is Summer Forever with Meghan Nicole. The girls are having a summer-Christmas party in the back of Børge BumleBus – not bad.

The Wi-Fi – we don’t have any. Initially we bought a phone card with 4 GB of data, but for some reason that we still haven’t figured out, our phones used it all in about 3 days. So that’s it – we’re offline, people. Depending on the occasional café or camp site with free wifi – we decided that mostly offline isn’t at all bad. (Who am I kidding?)

The atmosphere – down to earth, relaxed, friendly, helpful. What’s not to love?


  1. passionforinsight says:

    I hope you get to read this comment now that you haven’t got internet on the go…

    When you get to Christchurch, take your girls to Margaret Mahy playground. It’s JUST opened – they finished it last week – and it’s probably the best children’s playground in New Zealand! About an 8 minute walk from the central square where the cathedral is. http://www.futurechristchurch.co.nz/central-city/margaret-mahy-family-playground It may be the highlight of your girls’ day that day! 🙂

    • Astrid says:

      Thank you so much – we have added that to our to-do list. 🙂 No, we rarely have internet, so it’s definitely an offline trip. We’re lovingit here. Merry Christmas! 🙂

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