Let's go to the Rugby I said, via Hobbiton he said. SYD>NZ>SYD in J. | Australian Frequent Flyer
Australian Frequent Flyer

Welcome to Australia's leading independent Frequent Flyer and Travel Resource since 1998!
Our site contains tons of information that will improve your travel experience.

Joining AFF is fast, simple & absolutely free - register now and take immediate advantage of these great BENEFITS.

Once registered, this box will disappear. And you will see fewer advertisements :)

Login Now to remove this and all advertisements (GOLD and SILVER members)
Not a member? Register Now for free

Let's go to the Rugby I said, via Hobbiton he said. SYD>NZ>SYD in J.

Status
Not open for further replies.

Denali

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
6,254

Summary:

NZ102 SYD>AKL 767-300, Seat 2A & 2B
NZ119 AKL>SYD 777-200, Seat 6A & 6B (2nd revenue flight with new refit)

The Mission:

The House of Rugby, Auckland - to get a tshirt.
Hobbiton, Matamata - to get a tshirt and hunt a hobbit.
All Blacks V Wallabies/Bledisloe Cup. Eden Park, Auckland - because we can.

Hotels:

Auckland Airport Novotel
Chestnut Lane B&B, Matamata
Rydges Auckland

Check-in at Sydney airport was fast and painless and we were soon through security and off to the Koru lounge so hubby can have his 2nd breakfast, hes a Hobbit in training so the snazzy pancake machine was given a workout.

I thought the seats on this old bird are squishy but I was able to fully extend my leg (Im 5.10") and barely touch the seat in front of me so lots of leg room and the staff were lovely.



On arrival we cross the road and check in at the Auckland Novotel and we then headed out to The House or Rugby cafe & store - to get a tshirt. View from our level 8 hotel. Super quite, you dont hear any noise.


Next day we pick up our hire car and head off for a 2.5hr drive to Hobbiton, aka Matamata for the rest of us mortals.

Some Hobbiton facts. It costs $75pp to get in and after the sticker shock of that, you are bused in and out and no time to wander on your own and the tour lasts approx 2hrs BUT afterwards I thought it was worth the $75pp price and really enjoyed myself. I was really surprised by how much I liked this tour.

Another fun fact, during the filming of the movies, they had to create a special 1% beer because the actors were getting drunk on the beer they were using for film shoots and each person can try a beer or ginger ale at the Green Dragon pub at the end of the tour. Another fun fact is this is 4klms inside a working sheep and cattle farm and Peter Jackson found it on a helicopter fly over. The first LOTR trilogy was built out of materials that fell apart after shooting and the owners were not allowed to restore anything so when they came knocking for the Hobbit trilogy, the owners said they wanted to renegotiate the contract and Hobbiton was born.

I was surprised by how colourful the gardens where, I expected it to be a bit drab with winter but they have 5 full time gardeners on staff and lots of veggies and flowers growing.







We spent the night at a nearby B&B in Matamata, Chestnut Lane, and I can highly recommend this. Prompt email response from the hosts, lovely setting, separate accommodation, yummy breakfast and comfy stay. What else do you need when the only other alternatives are motel/cabins that look like they were last renovated in the 80s and could be the setting for a few low budget horror films.

Chestnut Lane Cottage is to the left of the main house.



The next day, after breakfast we checked out nearby Matamata and then drove back to Auckland via Hunua Falls which was a beautiful waterfall just minutes from the car park.
 

Denali

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
6,254
Game Day!
In the morning we had a tour of Eden Park. Sadly no hot sweaty buffed guys without shirts to be seen but it was still interesting.



Sunday was return to home day so we made our way back to the airport. Auckland has a very nice "premium" check-in area with separate elevator and immigration desk so we were soon back in the Koru lounge for 2nd breakfast and onto our steel ride home.
Upgraded J Seating:


There was two IFE techs on board handling issues and training staff.


New PE seats. I really liked them, seemed to have lots of leg room.



Bad photos of the Y seats (sorry). Slimline design but I didnt get to sit in them.

 

burmans

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Messages
6,955
Flights
My Map
No mention of the rugby? Did you see any actual hobbits (aside from the ones wearing yellow jerseys vs the All Blacks)?
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
17,135
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
Thanks for the report. I must go out and fly ANZ more, if only for the safety demo. What version was on offer on your flights?

The biz seat looks great.
 

Denali

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
6,254
Current safety video is Bear Grills doing an in the wild/plane safety survivor thing including taking his trout on board and storing it under the seat in front of him.

Christmas will be the new Hobbit video that they started filming last month.

On the trip home, we were overwhelmed with a senior male FA crew - no idea where they were hiding all the women.
 

Rugby

Active Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
874
Qantas
Platinum
Thanks Denali - nice report. Glad you saw more than just the game.
 
Vinomofo is the best wine deals site on the planet. Good wines, real people and epic deals, without all the bowties and bs.

Recommended by the Australian Frequent Flyer
Status
Not open for further replies.

Community Statistics

Threads
86,303
Messages
2,080,183
Members
53,710
Latest member
Icet
Top