So in 2 days we had gone from Auckland to Rotorua (with a stop in Hobbiton), Rotorua to Piopio (stopping at Trollshaw Forest) and Piopio to Ohakune (stoping at Mordor and Mt. Doom). This busy theme continues for the entirety of the tour, and we get to see a number of incredible locations and cover masses of ground in the time we have.
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.
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.