The shot above is the landscape where Hobbiton is located. Filming on the movie, "The Hobbit," was going on when we were there so we didn't get to see the little hobbit houses. There are lots of sheep in New Zealand -- more sheep than people!
We got to feed some baby lambs -- but if you'll notice, I'm stuck under Miss Elaine's arm and she's getting to have all the fun! Grrrr.
It was late October when we went to New Zealand -- the beginning of their summer. But someone forgot to tell the weatherman! It was COLD. Thank goodness I have a fur coat. Mr. Jack accidentally left his coat in the airport in Los Angeles. He had to wear one of Miss Elaine's jackets. It's a good thing that she lives in such fear of being cold that she always packs extra.
We had tea in a lovely forest that was in "The Lord of the Rings -- it represented Lothlorien, the realm of the elves. Here we experimented with perspective to show how the actors who played hobbits were made to seem small. This man was actually the tallest person in the group and the lady was second-shortest. I was actually shorter but I couldn't hold my arms right!
Lake Wakatipu was also used in the Lord of the Rings movies -- and it played a Scottish loch in the movie "The Waterhorse: Legend of the Deep." New Zealand has such a variety of scenery that lots of movies are filmed here.
One afternoon we went to the National Museum in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. These are kiwis. They can't fly (well, these REALLY can't fly because they're stuffed) so it's easy for predators to catch them. New Zealand tries to keep them in preserves, but cats, ferrets and weasels are pretty sneaky. The museum also has the preserved remains for the biggest giant squid ever caught -- it actually looks pretty yucky.
At the final dinner of Miss Elaine's conference, the people from the movie studio that made the Lord of the Rings movies brought props and costumes used in the movies. This is the actual Black Tower -- and it's only about 14 feet tall. Miss Elaine got down on the floor to take this picture. I was pretty embarrassed -- but I have to admit it's a good angle!