Friday, September 18, 2015

New Zealand - North Island Day 4 (Part 2 - To do/see, to stay, to eat)

To Do:

Wairere Falls
Old Te Aroha Road, Te Aroha, New Zealand
Wairere Falls from roadside

The beginning of the walk is relatively easy and gives a false impression that this walk is so much easier than Cathedral Cove. I was so wrong!

This walk is really a trek and its gets more difficult as you progress. I was pretty much gasping for breath when i was 30 mins into the walk. There are very steep stairs to climb and some boulders to climb over every now and then.
First lookout - Wairere falls overlooking a valley

It felt like a huge achievement upon reaching the first lookout with the waterfall in full view. There is another 2nd lookout that heads to the summit of the waterfall but we are uncertain of the route and abandon the walk to 2nd lookout 30 mins after leaving the 1st lookout.

Nearly had a huge fright when SO slipped on the way down and did a little tumble. He was fortunate to break his fall but he ended up with a bruised butt.

View of the falls is quite worth the climb, it will be a walk in the park for the physically fit. 

The Hobbiton
501 Buckland Rd, Hinuera, Matamata 3400, New Zealand
View of the party tree from a hilltop

They say first impression makes the most impact and the owners know this really well. All visitors are ushered up the bus that drives through the picturesque working sheep farm.

As the bus meanders through the hilly road against the ponds and blue skies, its like a travelling to the set of Lord of the Rings and the Hobbits with rolling hills and sheep grazing on the hills.

The tour itself is quite leisurely and allows for ample time for obligatory shoots at respective points of interest.

The movie set is pretty and quaint.

Knock knock who's there?

A hobbit for a day
Bilbo Baggins House
I can't tell from the real and the man-made. Like the fake tree on Bilbo Baggins house. Looks very real but its actually made of concrete and artificial leaves.

The entrance to Bilbo Baggins house is just a facade. Everything that we saw on the movie is taken on a movie studio.
Party tree and surrounds

I look forward most to the chill out time at the dragon's inn for the FOC mug of ale/cider. But it really too rush (10-15mins) for me to complete my drink and its back to the bus and heading back to Shire's rest.
Green dragon's inn
The cute green dragon inn to enjoy a cuppa of hobbit's ale.

One last look at the Hobbiton
Though the entrance fee of $75/ pax may seem steep but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on the tour of Hobbiton. If you are a Lord of the Rings or The hobbit fan just go for it!

To Eat:

The Shire Rest - 3.5 stars, budget
501 Buckland Road, Hinuera, Matamata 3472, New Zealand

The wait for food is impossibly long. Though we ordered our food at 1 pm and was informed that they need at least 15 mins to prepare our food. The food was only served at 1.30 pm, leaving us with only 15 mins to gobble down the food and rushing for my 1.45 pm tour.

I saw people abandoning their food ordered as it is served only minutes before the tour is due to start. You've been warned!

We order a full breakfast set and a hamburger with fries.
Full breakfast

The bread served with the full breakfast is too dry and hard. Though the bacon is good and the fresh eggs even better.
Hamburger with fries

The hamburger beef patty is well cooked and the fresh lettuces, tomatoes, cheese and sauce worked and blended well together. I particularly love the seasoning and sauce on the fries.

Abracadabra cafe & bar - 4.0 stars, mid-range
1263 Amohia Street, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand
Tunisian spiced lamb shank

Tunisian spiced lamb shank - the meat slides easily off the bone but it still has a gamy(骚味) taste. It is served with lots of potato.

Crispy garlic tortillas

Crispy garlic tortillas with 2 seasonal dips. I personally preferred the green coloured dip.

Spicy prawns

Spicy prawns - this is nice and note too hot/spicy. The description states garlic and chilli infused butterflied prawns. I love this dish the most due to its flavours and freshness.  

I loved all the dishes from this restaurant so will definitely recommend a visit to this place. 

To Stay:

Regent of Rotorua
1191 Pukaki St, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand

View of the pool from one of the rooms

Reception from the outside

Home to where we are staying for the next few days. The check-in/out is a breeze and the lady who check us in also shown us around the premises and our room.
Reception area for check in/out

Proximity to the food street though the hotel itself is suppose to have a very good restaurant that i yet to not try.
The restaurant

This is one of my more indulgent stays on this trip. I totally love the decor - Victorian Chic. To tell the truth the decor of the place was the deal breaker for me. Very comfortable big rooms. Pleasant service. Free parking and wifi.

The room is adequately equipped for you to brew the best coffee or chocolate drink. It comes with very thick plushy robes that is too warm to be worn in the room but still nice to touch.
The black fluffy robe

The toilet floors are heated so its comfortable to walk on even on a chilly day.
Toilets with heated flooring

I let the photos do the talking and i took plenty both inside and outside of my room.

Hallway leading to our room

The bedroom

The room from another angle

Its quite a good experience staying at Regent of Rotorua.

Another type of room offered online:
cutie room

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