After Hobbiton it was difficult to imagine anything could be better. But how wrong we were. Trollshaw Forest (Hairy Feet Waitomo) was on the itinerary for day two. It was for sure the dark horse of the tour. Trollshaw Forest is the move location for the scene in the Hobbit (an unexpected journey) when the dwarfs, Bilbo and Gandalf stop and have food in a little house, and the ponies get stolen by the three trolls – the trolls that Sam then refers to as “Bilbos Trolls” in the Lord of The Rings, when Frodo has been stabbed by the Ringwraith.

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So its the first day of Red Carpet Tours and we are off to Hobbiton. The excitement is just too much. Its quite a drive to Hobbiton from our hotel, so there is plenty of time for the excitement and anticipation to build. We then start to see green rolling hills filling the windows of the coach, and then hobbit music comes on. It was great, and Aisling and I looked at each other, with no words, just bobbing up and down in our seats making strange squealing noises. Red Carpet Tours do a fantastic job of making these trips extra special and memorable. Its little touches like the music that really make it what it is. Which is AMAZING. We pulled up to the Hobbiton car park and our day began.

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After all the New Year shenanigans, with a few days to pack and recover, Aisling and I leave early for Sydney airport and head to New Zealand for a two week Red Carpet Lord of The Rings Tour. We fly into Auckland to begin the tour. We get there one day before the start date and stay in a hotel not too far from the city. Our flight is with jetstar – the flights were almost $200 each way. Not too bad for a 3 hour flight! Although jetstar do not take cash on their planes – so if you want a drink make sure you have your card handy. Or, you can pre order! Other than that we had no qualms with the flight or the airline. Its basically an Australian version of easy jet, You get what you pay for!

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For New Years Day, Aisling and I went to an evening production of Β Aladdin at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney. It was AMAZING. Not just the production itself, the Theatre to. The whole evening was incredible and we had the best time. The minute you walk into the entrance (theres two – either one is impressive) you’re taken back by how cool the inside is, well we were anyway.

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Whale beach was recommended to us, it was apparently much quieter than Bondi but a similar size and style, so we decided to check it out. It was a good hours drive away, a pretty boring drive at that. But as we got closer the scenery became more impressive. We started to drive along narrow and winding Β roads, surrounded by massive houses set in the hill sides.

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