HOBBITS, WIZARDS, & ORCS, OH MY!
If you're a fan of The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, then make sure to stop by Hobbiton if you ever visit the north island of New Zealand. This was my second time visiting that magical place and it was just as magical, if not more, the second time. While visiting New Zealand, I never rent a car because 1) they drive on the left side of the road and 2) THAT'S TERRIFYING! Kiwi drivers are no joke, haha! Because I don't rent a car, I have to find a way to get to Hobbiton. Bush and Beach is a wonderful tour guide company that makes an amazing experience even better by taking their customers to local places to grab coffee or lunch and educating them about the country. I feel like I learned so much on the drive to Hobbiton about New Zealand, Kiwi and Maori traditions, and more. Bush and Beach picks you up close to where you're staying on a big comfortable bus and takes you to where you're going for the tour. Then, on the way back to Auckland, they'll drop you off wherever you want to go.
Bush and Beach has many options for Hobbiton tours. Andrew and I decided to do this one, where we could have a Hobbiton feast after our tour and boy was it worth it. Not only that but we received a $10 voucher for the gift shop and a free drink at the Green Dragon Inn. What's even better is that when you book with Bush and Beach, you get a private tour guide at Hobbiton. Most of the time, the tours are about 40 people and, on my tours with Bush and Beach, the most we've had was 20 people; making it a very intimate experience. Our tour guide even took a selfie with us at a Hobbit hole. That's pretty freaking cool, right? Plus, when you have less people, your tour guide will take you to places on set that big groups can't go to!
On our way back to Auckland, we stopped at a local ice cream shop right off the side of the highway and tried some delicious hokey pokey ice cream. Hokey pokey is a flavor you'll see all over NZ. It’s honeycomb toffee pieces and it's heavenly!
Overall, I would go back to Hobbiton over and over again because it truly brings you to The Shire. I watched the Lord of the Rings movies right after and was nerding out hard, you guys! Andrew and I were like "WE'VE BEEN THERE!" I hope all you guys get an opportunity to visit The Shire someday.
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