| Real Honeymoon >>
and Mushtaq Kapadwala
Visited: New Zealand
her little obsession with Lord of the Rings and the most memorable
honeymoon she and Mushtaq had in New Zealand.
Our wedding day was one of the most memorable days of my life, but
our honeymoon to New Zealand in November 2005 was even more magical,
and it all starts with my little obsession with the Lord of the
After watching the trilogy of The Lord of the Rings, by Peter Jackson,
I fell in love with not only the story and characters I had read
in the books, but the beautiful world they were placed in. New Zealand
is a gorgeous country, and no picture you could ever take can capture
the true essence of seeing it with your own eyes. My wonderful husband,
wanting to indulge my desire to visit the home of Middle-Earth,
planned a two week honeymoon for us the year after our wedding.
As the days counted down, I was ecstatic! This was a once in a life
time chance, and I was going to share something so very special
to me, with the one person I loved more than words could ever express.
Mushtaq was a sweetheart, and planned our itinerary so I could see
everything I wanted and more.
From the moment we stepped out of Auckland International Airport,
I was mesmerized by the beauty of the country's landscape. Everything
from the grass to the sky was a vibrant hue of color, a delightful
sight to anyone coming from the east coast when it's winter. But
as our trip to Middle-Earth began, we found that it was not only
the country's land that was beautiful, but the people as well. Natives
of New Zealand, or Kiwi's as they are called, are the nicest, most-caring
people. They are helpful to visitors, giving suggestions and advice
when needed, or just friendly conversation.
There are many highlights to our trip, for there is a variety of
wonderful and exotic things to behold in New Zealand, but if you
visit, make sure to stop at some of these.
Auckland, North Island
We walked around Auckland City, exploring as one would visiting
NYC. They had all the shops one would find in the states, including
all the fast food chains. It was interesting to see how similar
and yet so vastly different the city was from many in our own. Some
of the highlights included the Sky Tower, located in the middle
of the city, which allows you a spectacular view of the entire area
through see-through floors. Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter
& Underwater World was a treat, allowing us to see exotic marine
life. Then there is the Auckland Zoo with approximately 150 species,
500 animals, allowing a closer look at animals we can see in the
states, as well as those native to New Zealand like the kiwi bird.
Then there is Devonport, where you catch a ferry and can explore
the island at your leisure, including WWII tunnels and gun emplacements
in North Head.
|Rotorua, North Island
Mushtaq enjoyed our stay here the most, for among the striking
gardens, and cobbled streets is a fascinating mix of Maori and English.
There is developed tourism in Rotorua, due to the geothermal phenomena.
At the thermal reserve, we saw geysers, or crevices in the earth
in which nature's forces escape, bubbling, steaming and hissing
from within the earth. Boiling Mud was also seen, and I bought a
spa mask treatment made from Rotorua mud, which does wonders for
your skin. We also went to the Government Gardens, which was a breathtaking
array of colors even on a gray misty day. We enjoyed a playful game
of golf, and the experience was far better than keeping any score.
Queenstown, South Island
If adventure is what you seek, no better place could be found
than Queenstown, the 'adventrue capital of the world'. From thrill
seeking action, to breath-taking scenery, to a delightful array
of culinary cuisine, there is almost nothing you can not find in
Queenstown. It also happens to be the primary filming location for
Rohan in the Lord of the Rings. Deer Park Heights, includes many
of these locations, including the cliff Aragorn falls off. I was
bouncing for joy to say the least, but among the view into Middle-Earth,
there is so much beauty to absorb. The Remarkables Mountain Range
and Lake Wakatipu are just a few among them. For such a small town,
there is so much to do. I highly recommend extending your stay to
this friendly town.
The home of Hobbiton is Matamata, a small rural town. You can
recognize the green rolling hills, and bright blue skies, but if
you want to see the actual filming location, take the tour. They
drive you to the private farm that still has hobbit home structures
remaining. You even get to see the Party Tree from Bilbo's 111th
Birthday Party. It is a gorgeous outing, especially if the weather
Our visit to New Zealand was a once in a life time opportunity,
and it was the perfect way to celebrate a love as true and unique