We Lost Teddy!!! – Auckland, New Zealand

Yesterday I packed up everything in the camper and we moved into a hotel for a few nights.  Then, at 2 am after both kids had woken up and taken forever to go back down, it dawned on me.  I haven’t seen Scarlet’s Teddy!!!  The Incredible Shrinking Teddy!  Her “First Teddy” from Grandma and Grandpa!


We have been using this teddy from birth to show just how much she grows.  We did the same thing with our son and now Scarlet’s Teddy is gone.

Now, apparently my brain was actually functioning at this odd hour and I immediately remembered the last picture we had taken with the dynamic duo.

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We had been visiting the Weta Workshop (http://wetaworkshop.com/visit-us/workshop-tours/)  for a tour and some cool photos with the Troll.

We put Teddy down for the tour and never picked it up again!!!

Now again this is 2 am so there was nothing I could do about it, so I went back to bed and called first thing in the morning.

I called the gift shop, it seemed like the right place to start my search.  They were SO EXCITED when I called.  Apparently, they had been looking for us and were about to start a Facebook campaign (kinda wish they had, now that would have been cool!!).  There was something about Teddy getting around the shop but I didn’t understand what they meant at the time.  I enquired about overnight shipping it to the hotel and if it might arrive before he left for the airport (thankfully it was an evening flight home the next day!)  If there is any business that knows how to get something where it needs to be quick, I figured a prop studio would know how!

It would cost a whopping $8! (HAHA I would have paid soooooo much more than that).

That brings us to Today.  We waited until checkout and still no Teddy.  We paid for a few more hours and that got us our room until noon.

Still no Teddy.

All packed up and sitting in the “Lobby” and still no Teddy.

Dan, getting nervous about time, asked me when I thought it would arrive.  Being optimistic I said 1.  It will get here by 1.

A few false alarms (clean sheets got delivered) we finally saw our “Knight in Shining Armour” (Postal Truck) arrive and boy were we excited!!!


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Now we can head to the airport and I feel like the weight of the world has lifted!

Middle-Earth – New Zealand

Most people have seen or at least heard of, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.  Most recently The Hobbit movies were filmed and all the movies were filmed in New Zealand.

It’s really no surprise when you think about it.  Middle Earth is an old world with the flare of magic, towering trees, and mountains.  Green hillsides and horse-drawn carts.

Although the movie was filmed all over both the North and South Island, here in the north was where the Hobbits live.

And you can visit the Shire.

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Walk down the very path where Frodo ran yelling “I’m Going On An Adventure!”

and enter into the Shire, home to 300 Hobbits who live in 44 Hobbit Holes.

The set was built for the Lord Of The Rings movies and torn down after production was finished.  So when the land owner was approached for the filming of The Hobbit movies, he suggested that the set should be built for a more permanent purpose, allowing people to visit after filming was compleat.  There is even one Hobbit Hole that you can enter!

Take a walk through the community garden and see what’s growing.

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Do you see that tree, the smaller one on the top of the hill?

It is a very special and unique tree.

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The tree you see up there on the left is not actually real.  It has over 200,000 fake leaves on it and every few years someone has to go and repaint each one.

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There are also some VERY real trees.  A few, in fact, are over 100 years old.  This one, below, started to loose a few limbs while people were on tour so it needed a trim.

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Down the hill and over a bridge you will find  The Green Dragon Inn.  You can put your feet up by the fire, have a drink or even dress the part for some pictures.


The area around The Shire is just as breathtaking.  The locations is actually w working sheep farm.  They have a special kind of sheep known for having twin lambs and they are just about ready to pop!

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Naturally, there is a gift shop and a cafe.

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It is from here that you actually start and end your tour.  From the ticketing office, you will hop on a bus to take you on your way.

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With breakfast at the cafe and the tour, we spent a solid 4 hours here.  The tour is one of the more expensive things we have done but it is well worth it.


There are a few different places to stay if you are in a campervan like us.  There are even people in the area who have put their driveway up for rent on the Campermate app.

We chose to stay at the Opal Hot Springs and Holiday Park. (they have three different pools and two are natural hot springs!)