On the 31st of October 2014 we held our annual Halloween Party and competition for ‘Best Dressed’. This year’s first prize was an overnight trip to the Bay of Islands and second prize was a day trip to Hobbiton organized by our partner tour company, Action tours.
Our lucky winners were Tetsuro Toya and Takuya Yamane for their fabulous vampire and zombie costumes!
We decided to catch up with the boys to see how their awesome trips went and here’s what they had to say…
Tetsuro, winner of the overnight trip to the Bay of Island: "Unforgettable, wonderful and beautiful"
Tetsuro was picked up from the Action Tours bus stop. On the bus he met his friends from NZLC as well as other international students. After four hours they arrived at Paihia, a small, touristic town in the north of NZ. They enjoyed some local fish and chips and an early night.
After breakfast, the first stop was Cape Reinga, (the most northern tip of NZ), and the famous lighthouse. The students explored the area and took some lovely photos, others even jumped in the water for a quick swim at a nearby beach which Tetsuro described as “a bit chilly”. The group then headed to the next activity which was sandboarding. Everyone slid down the black sand dunes and enjoyed spectacular views from the top. After a lunch of sandwiches and cookies, it was time for the final stop: Ninety Mile Beach. The tour bus drove down onto the beach and along the sand of this stunning natural wonder that stretches for miles and miles.
That night Tetsuro and his friends found a cute Italian restaurant in the town to have dinner and afterwards they enjoyed some drinks and socialising back at the hostel before bedtime.
Sunday was a free day and the group could choose one of three options to do between a boat trip to Russell, swimming with dolphins or fishing. Tetsuro and his friends chose a boat trip to Russell and spent the morning exploring the historic town and the bays around it and having fish and trips for lunch. Then it was time to head back to Auckland after an awesome Kiwi experience!
When asked to describe his trip in three words, Tetsuro said: Unforgettable, wonderful and beautiful!
Takuya, winner of the day trip to Hobbiton: "Rustic, beautiful and old-fashioned"
Hobbiton is located in Matamata and takes about two hours from Auckland. On the way, the friendly guide chatted and told stories about the local tourist attractions. Once they arrived at Hobbiton, the group had a fascinating two hour tour of the movie set which was used for both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies.
They saw Hobbit Holes, The Green Dragon Inn, The Mill, double arched bridge and other structures and gardens built for the films. Takuya got the chance to go inside Bilbo Baggin’s house where everything was miniature and cute. All the hobbit houses were built on beautiful, lush hills and gardens.
Takyua described it as tranquil and beautiful. At the end of the tour everyone enjoyed a Hobbit ale at the The Green Dragon Inn and some people ordered food from the themed menu and bought souvenirs.
Takuya described Hobbiton as “rustic, beautiful and old-fashioned”.
He also said that he would definitely recommend seeing the movies before visiting Hobbiton. “It makes it much more meaningful”, he said.
On the way home the tour stopped at the stunning Hamilton Gardens where they also witnesses a Kiwi wedding in action!
Well done Tetsuro and Takuya! You deserved to win these trips and we’re glad you had a great time!