Volcanoes, Hobbits and glowworms

AGMA’s back!

And I’m still fighting jet lag. Even after a 2 night stopover in LA on Thursday and Friday before we flew home on Saturday.

So sorry I didn’t get anything posted other than the stinky haiku. The days were full and this AGMA needs a full 8 at night.

And I really can’t do a proper post on my phone.

Fat fingers….

I missed you all!

Here’s the Readers Digest of our escapades:

  • 1 night in LA (fun and hot!)
  • 2 nights in Fiji (yes – Fiji!)
  • 7 nights on the North Island of New Zealand
  • 7 nights on the South Island of New Zealand
  • 2 nights in LA (cool and rainy – WTF??)

All good?

We were in New Zealand for a week in 2014 and went to Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.

This trip, our stops were Hamilton, Taupo, Rotorua, Auckland (all on North Island) and Blenheim, Greymouth, Lake Tekapo, Oamaru and Cass Bay (all on South Island)

We had AMAZING weather pretty much the whole trip. And it was far warmer than we had anticipated or that Weather.com had predicted for New Zealand. AGMA had a “feeling” so I took out some long sleeved shirts and threw in some t-shirts, an extra pair of capris, and sandals in my suitcase like an hour we left!

Maybe I could get my own 800 number as a weather psychic?

I’ve said before, I’m not very good at the travel blog thing. AGMA would end up droning on about boring stuff that you really couldn’t care less about. ZZZzzz…

So let’s just do highlights with pictures (some pictures have captions that will pop up if you hover over them.) And of course some words. You know me…

1. Fiji. It’s a country made up of 330 islands, 100 of which are inhabited. We were there for 2 nights. Guess how many islands we visited? Yup – one…Viti Levu (location of the international airport.) AGMA’s not too much of a tropical island/beach gal so what impressed me most about Fiji was the people. Gracious, friendly and charming. And the orchids at the Garden of the Sleeping Giant (land that used to belong to Raymond Burr of all people!!)

2. The Ruakuri Cave and Waitomo Glowworm Cave (North Island). Most people don’t do Ruakuri because the glowworms are the big draw at Waitomo. But since hubs uses a mobility scooter and Waitomo isn’t accessible, but Ruakuri is, I did both caves. It’s very cool that Raukuri is only one of two fully accessible caves in the world. And honestly, Ruakuri was more interesting than Waitomo! And it had glowworms (but not nearly as many as Waitomo.) And you could take pictures in it.

3. The awesome and plentiful geothermal features of the Taupo/Rotorua area (North Island.) Yes – AGMA’s a geology nerd! This is one of the most geologically active areas of the world – the Pacific plate is moving under the Indo-Australian plate right underneath this area!! It’s called the Taupo Volcanic Zone and is a super volcano like Yellowstone in the US. Lake Taupo is the largest lake in NZ and it is part of an enormous caldera formed from a volcanic eruption some 26,500 years ago. The last eruption way back in 180 AD was the LARGEST volcanic eruption EVER! EVER! The effects of this massive eruption were seen and documented in Rome and China. Just this morning, there was a volcanic eruption on White Island (the red dot at the top right of the first picture) in the Bay of Plenty (in this Taupo Volcanic Zone) which unfortunately took 5 lives with 8 people missing.

4. Hobbiton in Middle Earth (North Island) And yes, I’m a LOTR geek as well!

Okay…there’s a bit more – we aren’t even on South Island yet! But I’m still jet lagged (I think I said that already, but hey, I’m jet lagged!) and AGMA needs to get started on Christmas stuff. We’ve been home almost 48 hours now I have done nothing that is holiday oriented.

One more travel post so hang with me.

Maybe only one…

19 thoughts on “Volcanoes, Hobbits and glowworms

  1. Ah, now that sun hat has possibilities. I’m thinking Fiji sweatshops and distribution channels exclusively through Dollar General. Think about it!

    The trip looks and sounds wonderful, AGMA. I actually remember watching a YouTube interview with Raymond Burr about his home in Fiji (I think it was David Letterman), and he apparently loved living there. He was serious about maintaining its environmental condition as I recall. I don’t blame you for not posting with a cell phone, yuck. More posts on this trip, please! – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well…I just posted more but not sure you’ll see it since you’re on hiatus. I hope you peak… Yeah, I’m thinking of contacting Ivanka about the possibility of including the hat in her fashion line. Kinda like the I Love Lucy when she wore the horse feed hat! Raymond Burr’s former home (the land at least) is just incredibly beautiful. HIs legacy of preserving the beauty of the area definitely lives on!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When I first saw that you had visited New Zealand, I thought “Hope she wasn’t near that volcano!” Glad you weren’t. We would miss you.

    BTW – What, exactly, is that lady doing with her feet in the first photo? Please tell me that’s not food. Or that if it is, you didn’t eat it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful place!! We seemed to be just ahead of the bad weather on our trip. Grateful for that! Had we planned to stay a little longer, our drive from Omarau to Christchurch would have been cut off! Where do you live?


  3. I did EXACTLY what you did. I took a photo of a photo of the Waitomo caves. I LOVED that experience. it was worth enduring the area’s rotten egg smell. Sounds like you had a fantastic time. How did you manage the airfare—with those stops? That’s always one of the challenges.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eek – sorry it’s taken me so long to answer the comments on this post! I’m still a bit discombobulated! We also took a picture of a postcard of the Last Supper when we were in Milan because you can’t take photos in there either! Ha! But you could take pictures in the Ruakuri Cave and they had glow worms too which was pretty cool! We flew to NZ on Fiji Airways and they offer a free 72 hours stopover in Fiji (but the way the timing of the flights is, you can actually only stay 48 hours!)


  4. Welcome back home to your own pillow! Soak up some rest. Lots of time to look at your pictures – and recall the trip for posts. Fiji would be super nice to visit, and I would like to know more about your interactions with the people. I am LOTR geek btw.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yay!! Another LOTR fan! On our first trip to NZ in 2014, we did a LOTR tour in Queenstown. We saw quite a few places on both North and South Island that were used for specific scenes in both the LOTR and Hobbit movies. You are right – it was great to get back to my pillow! And most folks who visit Fiji just toddle off to big resorts and never really venture out to the towns or villages (which is what we like!). There were quite a few day tours offered that are labeled “cultural” tours. Even just walking around the town was a great chance to interact with people.


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