We got up at 5.30am and packed up our bags to leave the Auckland Airbnb by 6am. We faced a 2hr 30min drive down to Waitomo to do their 3 cave exploration. We toured the Ruakuri Cave at 9am which was a good one and a half hour experience. We then made our way over to the Aranui Cave which was more cavernous and about a 30 minute tour. We rounded off the morning at the Glowworm caves on their boat tour which was fun, dark, and mind boggling. Being in the pitch black with glowing worms (maggots) above is really breath taking and well worth the trip down.
At 1pm we headed over to the cottage we booked called Earth House. This is hands down one of the coolest places I have ever stayed at. Alistair and Suzy who run the place are just legendary. Alistair had us busting a gut with endless stories and Suzy made us home made food that makes me want to stay for a month! This is the place where Sir Ian McKellan resided when making the Hobbit movies.
The cottage is half an hour away from Hobbiton. We did the the 3.30pm tour which lasts about two and a half hours in total. It included a bus over to the Shire which leads into a 2 hour walking tour that wraps up at the Green Dragon for some beers. I still have a smile on my face from today. I don't know how we can top it.