Day 3 – Cathedral Cove

Staying at Tatahi Lodge Beach Resort Hahei New Zealand

Woke up early this morning to hike to Cathedral Cove for sunrise.  It was about an hours walk from our hotel.  We pack our headlamps for just such an occasion.  Cathedral Cove was featured in the movie The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008) and that is why we chose to visit.


After checking out of our hotel, we drove to Matamata New Zealand and then to Hobbiton the movie set from The Hobbit movies.  We all enjoyed touring the Shire since we are all fans of the movies.

It was a very nice guided tour.  Except for a few, each Hobbit hole is only a facade.  Our guide talked about how they are different sizes to allow for Gandalf to appear seven-feet tall while making Bilbo, Frodo, Sam and all the other Hobbits to appear small in stature.  Each hole also has a theme.  There is a fisherman’s hole, a bee keeper’s hole, and other themed holes.

Our guide was very knowledgeable in trivia about the movies and their production.  Hobbiton was actually build for The Hobbit Movies, but not the Lord of the Rings movies.  The Lord of the Rings Hobbiton set was similar, but made of plastic and was torn down after filming was completed.

The guide spoke about all the gardeners and horticulturist employed by the site.  Each gardener is assigned four holes.  They maintain all the plants and keep the lawns trimmed.  While we were there, all the gardeners were having a pumpkin growing competition to see who could grow the biggest pumpkin.  He pointed out where several of the pumpkins had shades over them to protect them from the sun.  It should be obvious, but all the plants are real, nothing is artificial or plastic.


After touring Hobbiton, we drove to Rotorua New Zealand were we are staying at the Millennium Hotel.  We were all thinking mexican for dinner tonight.  I imagined having a Speedy-G with margaritas.  We consulted TripAdvisor and found the #1 Mexican restaurant in Rotorua, El Mexicano Zapata.  There are two locations near our hotel and I chose the one that was the shortest walk.  Unfortunately, this was the Take-Away location and did not offer margaritas.  I was too tire to walk to the other location, so we decided to eat here anyway.  The food was generous and very good.

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