You know you are in for a great holiday when even before you have finished your flight you realise you haven’t booked enough time to do all the things on your “must do” list!

As I sat back in my airline seat, preparing myself for take off I received a text, it said don’t forget to get your “Middle Earth” stamp in your passport. I quickly text back ???

The Hobbit Stamps

The Hobbit Stamp Collection

I don’t know whether it was poor researching, or me shying away from the geek factor, but I had completely overlooked the significance of journeying to Auckland. We were close to “middle earth” and “the Shire”

Now if it seems that I am talking in riddles then I take it you haven’t been desperately awaiting the release of the Hobbit. and, like me, have never been a “lord of the rings” fanatic.

Gollum

Gollum from The Hobbit

I did read the books as a child and just barely got into them. They were well out of my reading genre but still entertaining.

When the first movie was released I didn’t rush to see it. In fact we have had a copy in the house for at least … Years and I have never managed to watch more than the opening 5 minutes. I actually used it as my, “I can’t sleep movie,” because before Bilbo Baggins was out of Hobbiton I was sound asleep every time.

So imagine my surprise when aboard the Air New Zealand flight the characters of Lord of the Rings started giving the in flight safety demonstration!

Check out this link to a You Tube copy of the video!

http://youtu.be/l5iHNhQY3n8?t=5s

Yes it is cheesy and a little bizarre, but I was quietly amused and the kids were enthralled, and we all watched every second.

I thought the middle earth reference would finish there, but upon opening the inflight magazine I found a 25 pages special feature on the movie. Gee the kiwis were really getting into the whole movie deal.

Dwarf Statue at Auckland Airport

Dwarf Statue at Auckland Airport

We landed in Auckland at nearly 1.00am local time.  Sleepy and subdued, hobbits and wizards were the last thing on my mind.  Exiting the plane we found ourselves in Middle Earth, or at least Auckland Airport made to look like the Hobbit movie set.

The scene was complete with giant statues of the Dwarf characters from the movie and characters in costume greeting travelers.

The Hobbit Actors

The Hobbit Actors at Auckland Airport

I think after this fantasy start to New Zealand I might have to see what all the fuss is about and visit Hobbiton myself.

Gandolf

Gandolf @ Auckland Airport

So readers, are you fans of “Lord of the Rings” or “The Hobbit?”  If you were traveling to New Zealand would you add “Hobbiton” to your “things to do list?”

Bilbo & Elf

Bilbo & an Elf Queen @ Auckland Airport