Monday, March 19, 2018
HOME OF THE HOBBITS... The Hobbits’ front doors can be visited by tourists on the site where the movie was shot.

To win a holiday

Editor April 5, 2017

MANY of us would say we never win anything, so when Mary Beatie of Finlay was told she had won a $10,000 prize, $5,000 of which was a holiday, she just could not believe it.

She had won the holiday and the cash as first prize in The Adviser 2016 GMCU $30,000 Giveaway. The cash was no problem as she started the spending on a new lounge suite.

As for the holiday, where to go? After talking with Lyn McNaught Travel in Mooroopna she decided on New Zealand, a country she had heard so much about and very much wanted to see.

So Mary, together with her husband, Ron, and friends Glenda and Greg Brunt flew to Auckland. They had two nights there and had a chance to see the town. They had five star accommodation right next to the Sky City Tower.

Mary says the view from the top was spectacular. Back in their hotel they met the other members of their travel group and tour guide.

The next day their bus headed off to the Bay of Islands; a very pretty place. They toured the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, which is the site where the treaty with the British was signed.

Mary enjoyed her time there and the displays of carved war canoes. Later, they went on a cruise on the bay and saw dolphins. The tour was great and all were impressed with how clean and tidy New Zealand was.

Next, it was a visit to Rotorua, famed for its mud pools and geysers and that smell of rotten eggs from the sulphur, but the locals seemed to not notice and even use the steam to heat their homes.

They were treated to a Maori concert and found it very entertaining. Everyone joined in. The ladies danced and the men joined in the Haka.

Their next stop was Hobbit country; the location of the Lord of the Rings franchise movies. The facades of those little, round-doored houses are all there. Everyone enjoyed the Hobbit tour and Mary says it was excellent.

They then took a Gondola up into the mountains from Fairy Springs and the views from to top were just great. They were offered a luge ride, where you sit or lay in the vehicle pull a handle and off you go on a hair raising ride down the mountain. Mary says it was fast but lots of fun.

At Papapa they were taken on a tour of the town in an aqua duck. After driving the town they then entered the waters of the bay and saw the many beautiful homes that line the shore.

Finally they arrived in Wellington. Mary’s group had a two night stay, so allowed for time to explore. They were told that the local war museum was a must see, and they weren’t disappointed. The display on Gallipoli was amazing. It featured full size wax figures telling the history of Gallipoli. The display filled six rooms and Mary came away very impressed.

It was then time to head home to Australia, but Mary enjoyed the tour so much she would like to return and do the south island.

She would like to thank Lyn McNaught Travel, the GMCU and The Adviser newspaper for making the holiday possible. Oh and Mary has already got her entries in for this years’ 2017 GMCU $30,000 Giveaway … you never know.

Until next time

Safe Travel’n,

Geoff Vallance.