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Tauranga, NZ Bill's Birthday

Dawn leaving Hobbit house

Paul Working

Bill resting on a Hobbit bench

Driving the Hobbit Wagon

Coming into Tauranga in the early morning it looked like we would run into some rocks from a ways out but there was a narrow cut between a beach and a large mount that we sailed through. We are scheduled for a shore excursion to Hobbiton the site of the Hobbit movie filming.. The site was about 1.5 hours by bus from the port traveling through a small mountain range and then some farmland of corn, grapes, etc. The Hobbit site was a very rolling hill area that was originally discovered by the producers by a fly over. The site at the time had a lake and no obvious man made structures like power lines. On their first visit to this sheep and beef farm to inquire about the site they were turned away because it was Saturday and that's the National Rugby Game day! The original Hobbit and the first Lord of the Rings used this filming site. We had a nice time walking the hilly areas looking at the Hobbit holes, Hobbit gardens, etc. that were in pristine condition to this day. It's now a rather crowded tourist site. After we returned to the port we discovered there were two beaches within walking distance of the boat and we spent the rest of our time exploring the very busy beaches. It was warm sort of, about 70 but windy. Everybody seemed to be swimming in the ocean even though it was only 20 degrees (68F). Back to the ship and off to Gisborne.

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