Rare The-Inside-Cabin Posted February 5 Author #301 Share Posted February 5 (edited) TAURANGA AND A VISIT TO HOBBITON (POST #33) FEBRUARY 3, 2023 Click "Show More Posts" to show all the links to the other posts for the 2023 World Cruise Show More Posts We take a trip to Middle Earth and visit the home of Bilbo Baggins Our third New Zealand Port is listed as Tauranga, but we actually moor in Mount Maunganui, a small town on the other side of Tauranga Harbor. Mount Maunganui, an extinct volcano, rises 761 feet above sea level is at the end of the peninsula. Mount Maunganui is an extinct volcano located in the city of Mount Maunganui. This photo shows the city beach in the foreground We had a tour booked to see the Hobitton Movie Set a couple of months ago, but we received an email last week from the tour company canceling our tour because their company went out of business. We checked with Viator and booked another tour to the Hobbiton Movie Set with Cruise Tours Tauranga for $118 USD pp. Regardless of who you use to book your tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set you will end up at the same place, using the same tour guides. Tour companies only provide transportation to Hobitton where you will use the Hobbiton guides and buses. If you rented a car and drove to Hobbiton, the tour alone costs $56 USD We are not fans of the Hobbit movies, and I read the book The Hobbit back when I was 13 or so. However, on previous visits to New Zealand, many people have taken the Hobbit Tour, and they said the tour was wonderful even if you weren’t a fan. We’ll see. If you don’t want to watch the entire movie, you can check out this YouTube clip to see what Hobbiton looked like when it was used in the movie. The ship TV also had the complete movie available for watching anytime on demand. The ship moors alongside a wharf without any passenger terminal. Once off the ship, it’s about a 1/4 mile walk to the port gate. A large parking lot outside the gate is where vans and small buses for private tours are parked. The port gate with the Zuiderdam in the background Our tour met by the flagpole at 9:15. The flagpole is where many private tours meet and is right outside the port gate. On the wharf, on the way to the port gate, there is a booth with several vendors selling tours on the spot. If you don’t have something pre-booked, this port has many last-minute tours available. This is “The Flagpole,” where you will meet for many private tours You can buy excursions here right on the wharf The Hobitton Movie set is about a 75-minute drive, and we were scheduled for the 11 am tour. The tour lasts 2 hours, and we would have 30 minutes for lunch and shopping before we headed back and for a scheduled return by 3 pm. Once we left, we continued west on two lane paved roads until we arrived at Hobitton at about 10:45 am. This picturesque location is known for being the filming site of the Shire, a central location in J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved stories. After we crossed the bridge over Tauranga Harbor, we were greeted by lush green hills, rolling pastures, and sprawling farmlands. After arriving in Hobbiton, we got off our tour bus and lined up in a sheltered waiting area organized by our tour starting time: in our case, 11:00 am. Our bus driver will handed us our Hobbiton Tour tickets along with the site brochure HERE. This is a copy of the tour route we will follow. At our designated time, everyone boards a Hobbiton shuttle bus for the one-mile drive to the start of the one-mile walking tour through the Shire. We met our guide, Kate, who would lead us through the two-hour walking tour. This sign marks the start of your walking tour Our tour guide, Kate, is from Dayton, Ohio All of the 44 Hobbit Holes are exteriors only. The movie’s interior scenes were filmed on a set elsewhere. Hobbiton is building a Hobbit Hole with an actual interior that may be available when you visit. More information is available HERE There was one Hobbit Hole with a working door where we could pose for photographs. Kate pointed out the significance of many locations as we moved through the set, including Bilbo Baggins House, The Party Field and Sam’s House. We were not rushed and there was plenty of time to take pictures and ask questions. This photo shows the size of each tour group These scene is what caught Peter Jacksons eye when he was scouting locations from a helicopter Hobbit Holes This is the bus used to travel to the start of the walking tour Hobbit Hole Hobbit Hole This is the one Hobbit Hole with a working door Bilbo Baggin’s Hobbit Hole Toward the end of the tour, we visited the Green Dragon Inn, where we had 15-20 minutes to enjoy a complimentary beverage (Beer or Cider) and purchase a snack. Inside the Green Dragon Inn, we had about 15 minutes to enjoy a beverage and snack. Returning to the visitors center, we had about 30 minutes to browse the gift shop and get some lunch in the café. The length of time we spent here afterward is determined by the tour that we used and our return time back to the port. Hobbiton Gift Shop We left Hobbiton at 1:30 and arrived at Mount Maunganui a little before 2 pm. We spent the next 2 hours wandering up and down Mount Maunganui’s main shopping street. There are numerous shops and restaurants. The extinct Volcano, Mount Maunganui is at the end of the main street, and you can walk around the base or hike to the summit. Mount Maunganui’s main shopping street Back on the ship after a fun day ashore Debora Krizak was the featured entertainer on the Mainstage (Note – the mainstage is now called the World Stage – to align with the name used on other Holland America Ships). Read more about Debora HERE Debora has a powerful voice and performed such hits as “I’m a Woman” made famous by Peggy Lee, Helen Reddy’s “I am Woman”, Dolly Parton’s “Nine to Five” and Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary”. Debora received a standing ovation! Edited February 5 by The-Inside-Cabin 13 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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