I’m not going to lie… after 9 months of traveling, Hobbiton is still one of the most exciting [to me] things we did. I was pretty damn jazzed to finally see where HOBBITS live. *squeals*

Around the time we got tickets for the Weta Workshop in Wellington, I secured tickets for Hobbiton too. We planned to go there on our way from Rotorua back to Auckland as our trip to NZ was ending.I was THIS excited when we finally went. No… THIS EXCITED. All the excitement!! Look at me trying to hold my arms down at my sides like a normal person.Not only were we in one of the most amazing places on Earth, after five weeks in New Zealand with rain, the grass was starting to perk up again. It was here that both Kay and I felt we finally saw the rolling green New Zealand landscapes that we’d pictured in our minds before we came. And of course it just happened to be in the Shire.Kay on the other hand, didn’t quite get my excitement… I was literally bouncing up and down and hopping excitedly while pointing to things, like LITTLE SWINGS and LITTLE CLOTHES on little clotheslines.The attention to detail here is incredible. When you hear about the work that they put in to making this place, like hiring people to walk paths up and down the hills to make it look like they’ve been worn time and time again by little hobbit feet heading home or going to the baker, it makes you appreciate even more all the effort that went into these movies. (Even if I sort of loathed the Hobbit trilogy, for which the set was recreated permanently.)Even Kay had to admit that it looked really beautiful here.Soon we were upon Bilbo’s house!SO darn magical!After the tour was over, we were led to the Green Dragon for a free beer or ginger beer. There it is across the water, past the mill.I took a ginger beer since beer is a no-go for this celiac.At the pub, I took this Snapchat video which marked Kay’s enthusiasm for the whole visit. This actually spawned a whole series that developed into my #reasonsmyhusbandisgrumpy hashtag that we used for the rest of the trip. All thanks to this video.

After Hobbiton, we drove the rest of the way to Auckland and had a couple days before our flight to Sydney. A couple stressful days… as when we arrived, our car got stuck under the parking garage door at our AirBnB, then when we got checked in there was a fire alarm and the whole 23 story building had to empty, plus it was a university building, so people supervising thought we were students… After our rough start in Auckland, we had to find a place to arrange the shipment of 26 (!!) kilograms, that’s 57.3lbs, of camping gear to be sent home.

We pretty much figured we wouldn’t be camping in South East Asia coming up, so we sent home our tent, sleeping bags, cookware, and everything else we needed for our time in Patagonia and New Zealand.It was not cheap to mail that to Switzerland, but we figured with all our inter-Asia flights coming up on low carriers, we would actually save money sending the goods home rather than having to check a bag or two more in addition to what we still had. 1-2 bags X 10 low-carrier flight baggage charges would have been $$$.

After we sent all that weight home, we both still had around 24kg of checked luggage, thanks to filling out our dive kit and reducing what we had in our carryon. Do I regret bringing that camping gear? Nooo. That was our home for months.

Finally with Hobbiton and Auckland over, it was time to pack up and say goodbye to New Zealand. Next we would fly to Sydney for a long weekend with family and friends.

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