When we told people we were going to New Zealand, almost everyone asked, “Are you going to go see ‘The Lord of the Rings’?”  I have only seen the first movie and the whole time I watched it, I asked my brother, “Is it over yet?”

I didn’t even know the movie was filmed in NZ.  So no, naturally, we did not go see the movie set.

We mostly wanted to go to NZ because we had heard good things about it and well, if we’re going to fly 18 hours across the Pacific, we might as well stop by!

We took a red-eye flight from Cairns to Auckland, NZ.

We landed at 5am, which is 3am in Cairns time, so we were exhausted when we arrived.  Plus the plane ride had the scariest terbulance I have ever experienced.  It was so frightening!

I took a nap at the airport because we were waiting for the car rental place to open.  We took the free shuttle to the rental place and picked up our Toyota Corolla!

We drove on the right side of the car, on the left side of the road!  Cool experience!


On our drive, I couldn’t help but notice how green everything was.  [I took this picture through the car window as we were driving!  I had this picture printed and put it at my desk at work.  It makes me happy 🙂 ]

Even the hills are green!


There were cows and cows and more cows!  (That’s why the steak is so yummy!)

We drove from Auckland to Rotorua, NZ.  On the way there, we stopped for lunch in Matamata, NZ and wandered over to Eat.Urban Foodstuffs.

The food was delicious!  The chowder was amazing!

Gotta finish the meal with a smoothie!

After lunch, we drove the rest of the way to the Sequoia Acacia Lodge Motel in Rotorua, NZ.  Will needed a nap after driving three hours.

When he awoke, we made our way to Zorb Rotorua.  We had seen it on Trip Advisor and thought it’d be fun!

There’s two types of Zorb – Zydro and Zorbit.  In Zorbit, they attach you to the Zorb and you can go straight forward, parallel to the ground (like Superman), or backwards.   In Zydro, they fill the Zorb with a little pool of water, you go inside the Zorb, and when you’re pushed down the hill, you just slide around in the water.

There’s three tracks – Fast Lane, Zig Zag, and the Drop.  If you do the Zydro, you can do all three tracks.  Zorbit can only go down the Fast Lane.  We bought a package deal online – a 3 ride voucher for each of us.

Will in the Zorb…


Will going down the Fast Lane:


Will going down the Zig Zag.    He liked this track the most!


Me going down the Fast Lane:


Will did the Drop, but got hurt in the process.  It’s a 25m drop and Will landed on his neck (and chipped a tooth).

 (At :32, that’s where he lifted off of the Zorb and came crashing back down.)


After he told me that, I chickened out and instead, we both got to go in the Zorb and go down the Fast Lane.  That was my favorite.


After we dried off and warmed up (it was cold!), we found an ad in a pamphlet for Mac’s Steaks.  The US dollar is better in NZ, so steaks were very affordable. Yum!


The next morning we had breakfast at the motel, packed up, and left to drive to Waitomo, NZ.  Bye Rotorua!