Despite the early starts for the tours (we got picked up before 7am each day), we enjoyed them thoroughly. And the weather was great for both of the tours which was lucky. Hobbiton was beautiful - the countryside is so picturesque, and green!
The second tour was to the Bay of Islands, about a 4hr bus ride north of Auckland. Again, we passed through rain but when we got there, it was a beautiful sunny day.
We took a ferry ride across the bay to Russell and went on a short bus tour around there as well. The scenery was really lovely. Being so far away, we did get back to Auckland quite late, but we could sleep in on Monday so that was OK.
On Monday, we did a ferry ride across to Devonport which is the historical side of Auckland and did a quick bus tour around there. It is just beautiful with old houses all in wonderful condition - it is apparently a highly-sought after address in Auckland now and very expensive to buy anything there. Below is a view of Auckland from the ferry from Devonport. The weather wasn't great on Monday as you can see.
When we came back across the harbour, we went up the SkyTower which freaked me out! The lift had a glass panel in the floor, so I stood next to the doors away from that - what I didn't realise was that the doors were glass as well, and as we went up, you could see out over Auckland - my legs turned to jelly and I went all sweaty and pale. Once we got to the top, I couldn't move out far from the centre, whereas my husband was right out on the edge. Below is a view of the port and a small part of the centre of Auckland with Devonport across the harbour from 50 floors up...
When it was time to come home, we were delayed at the airport for an hour so we didn't get home until after 11.30pm but overall, we had a wonderful time. I should have taken Tuesday off work to recover, but it's all good... Last night I collected Clarence from his holiday buddy where he stayed the weekend. And then, I found a wallet, presumably stolen, thrown over our fence with some bankcards etc in it so we took that to the police station - hopefully they find who it belongs to and can return it.
So, still no stitching - that will start again tonight (I hope!).