Leaving Rotorua 

On our way out of Rotorua, we stopped at Rainbow Springs to see the kiwi birds. Rainbow springs was highly recommended in all of the guides, as the money paid for the ticket goes into conservation measures to keep the kiwi breed alive.

The park itself was a bit of a disappointment, with cages of various animals and bird shows. 

The kiwi itself and the log flume made up for it though! (We weren’t allowed to take pictures of the kiwi, although that didn’t stop some people!)

Onwards to Matamata, where, as any true Tolkien/Peter Jackson/Lord Of The Rings fan would know, is where the LOTR and Hobbit movies were filmed.

It was really exciting to be on the actual film set, I did geek out a little bit.

On to the Green Dragon for some ale! Yes! (Harry Potter world need to take a leaf out of Hobbiton’s book and provide a butterbeer in the price of the ticket. Just saying.) 

Yep, we tried on hobbit clothes.

Kiwis, flume rides, movie sets, all in one day! Doesn’t get better than this.



Rotorua is built over a geothermal hot spot, which means sulphur, which means it smells like bad eggs! 

The whole of the north island is said to be more in touch with it’s Maori heritage. We took a tour to a Maori village for hangi and a show.

After learning about Maori culture for New Zealand, we got to stuff our faces with the buffet hangi of chicken, lamb and loads of veg! Biggest meal we’ve had since being in New Zealand!