Thursday, 26 May 2016

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour - A Definite New Zealand Must Do

I have not read or seen Lord of The Rings, yet I enjoyed myself thoroughly. I had read The Hobbit  and watched the film so I, had some idea and of course, know of the legendary director Peter Jackson.

Still, I found the entire village fascinating, even magical. This was not only due to sets and scenery but the fabulous stories told by our host like how the location was discovered, how news of the location leaked, how trees were planted and leaves handsewn, what filming tricks were used and where certain scenes were actually filmed. 

I just adored the Hobbit homes. Maybe because I'm actually hobbit sized myself. 

I hesitate to show you so many pictures because I really think you should go and experience it for yourself but if you have no immediate plans to visit, feel free to look on.


 This is the Party Tree where Bilbo's 111th and Frodo's 33rd (coming of age) birthday took place. 
The Party Tree

Almost at The Green Dragon

The Green Dragon From afar

Inside the Green Dragon

 If you don't think you will get to visit and want to read more about how the Hobbiton village came about, Steve Meacham does a great job in his Traveller article of relaying these stories as told by the family and our guide. There is also plenty of information on the Hobbiton website.

Meantime, thanks for stopping by this blog to look at the photos and I do hope you get a chance to visit.

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at

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Thanks for visiting!

Monday, 16 May 2016

Blue Spring Te Waihou Walkway - No Longer A Secret

A must do in New Zealand
Well, this glorious Spring used to be a well kept local secret. Not any more. A walkway has been built, a viewing deck and bathrooms installed.  Even the roads to the Spring are being upgraded as we speak to cope with the influx of tourist traffic heading here. I hope people are respectful so that it will remain a sacred and beautiful place for a long time to come.

A must do in New Zealand
The water is so clear my feet look as though they are floating in mid air!

A must do in new Zealand
The walkway makes it an easy hike
A Must do in New Zealand

Such a peaceful place. I could sit here and meditate for hours. There is something wonderfully spiritual about it.

A must do in New Zealand

After a very short walk, you are rewarded with a lovely waterfall. This little section is no longer on the walkway and gets muddy and slippery so bring appropriate shoes. Especially if you want to climb rocks and hang from trees to take photos like I did!

A must do in New Zealand

Top 10 thing to do in New Zealand

Look for Rose Milligan's poem engraved on plaques placed on 4 large boulders on your way out from the trail. It is so appropriate and meaningful for this amazing and peaceful place.

Dust If You Must

by Rose Milligan

Dust if you must, but wouldn't it be better
To paint a picture, or write a letter,
Bake a cake, or plant a seed;
Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there's not much time,
With rivers to swim, and mountains to climb;
Music to hear, and books to read;
Friends to cherish, and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world's out there
With the sun in your eyes, and the wind in your hair;
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it's not kind.
And when you go (and go you must)
You, yourself, will make more dust.

There are lots of fun facts, directions and more on the website.

You are welcome to look at other posts from our NZ trip. 
Sakura - Yoga Retreat and Health Spa
Cambridge - Not What We Expected!
Hobbiton Movie Set - A Definite New Zealand Must Do

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at

Social Media:  Facebook |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn  |  Instagram

Thanks for visiting!

Cambridge, New Zealand - Not What I'd Expected!

A traditional telephone booth is now a Book Exchange

After miles and miles of rolling deep green hills dotted with sheep and cattle, we arrive in Cambridge. Much to our surprise and delight, it was not at all what we expected to find 135 kilometres (83.9 miles) from Auckland.  

Cambridge is a quaint mix of colonial traditional and hipster all set amongst well maintained lush gardens and flagstone pavements. 

And as we were to discover, Cambridge is not only home to dairy farmers and horse breeders but also elite athletes. National sport organisations like cycling, rowing, and triathlon are based here. 

Enjoying the Autumn Sunshine at Cafe Rouge

paddock cafe grow their own herbs..

Town Clock

St Andrews Anglican Church

Maungatautari Road
Heading out of downtown Cambridge toward Sakura (Health Spa & Retreat), the tree lined streets surround Lake Karapiro. There is the purpose built Te Awa 8km walk/cycle way, (we walked) and enjoyed the most lovely fresh air and several visits from Tieke, a very inquisitive local bird.

Whilst my friend and I enjoyed our brisk walk, our teen decided to sit and read.

Cambridge was just stunning and one of my new favourite places on earth. Stay tuned for more of our trip including Hobbiton, Sakura and New Plymouth.

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at

Social Media:  Facebook |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn  |  Instagram

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Sakura Yoga Retreat and Health Spa - Lifestyle Photography

Blankets will keep you warm during meditation

Sensitive Instruction
Nestled in hills of Cambridge, New Zealand, Gwen and Lloyd have created a quiet haven perfect for reflection, relaxation, recovery or meditation.

Whilst in the final stages of preparation for the official launch of their retreat and bed & breakfast website, you can keep up to date on their Facebook page, here.

These images are from the Yoga room, stay tuned for further posts which will include the rest of the property and local attractions such as Hobbiton and Blue Springs.


Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at

Social Media:  Facebook |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn  |  Instagram

Thanks for visiting!