OK….sounds kind of strange but most of the tourists were really excited to visit the set of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy and ‘The Hobbit’.
Situated in the middle of nowhere, its a big property but the actual set area is small in comparison.
Our boys took it all in their stride making our guide laugh at our antics (she said we were her best group as we really appeared to enjoy the tour!)
Nuff said…..on with the pics!
OK, we found out the night before at the Hakka that the tour company had again stuffed up and our game was booked two hours away which meant we would be late back for our hungi. Game cancelled which was really annoying. Time to kill so we went to the Polynesian Spa to experience rotoruas famous thermal waters. Really could enjoy having access to one of those!!
Spent an hour looking around (Rotorua isn’t that big) then napped til it was time to go to Tamaki Village.
Tamaki was really good. The ‘actors’ were so friendly except for one lady who clearly hated her job !! Hungi was good!!!!!!
Its a smelly place with a small friendly town feel!!
Homebase for a couple of days.
Hakka Lesson, a visit to Tamaki Maori Village and two games+ a chance to enjoy a hot spring !
White water rafting was amazing as was the opportunity to learn and understand the meaning behind the all famous hakka. We were very luck to have one of NZ Rugby’s Maori Liaison Officers teach us this wonderful and powerful cultural piece and to understand the meaning and purpose behind the hakka gave our tourists an insight into why it is the symbol of NZ rugby. Having had the privilege to face down the Waiteke hakka, it also put things into context for us.
Update: Games cancelled due to distance (our timing was wrong due to being booked to be in two places at once!) and our third game was cancelled due to the weather (we were kind of caught up in the tail end of a cyclone on the Thursday……fun times to be had in the bus traveling back to Auckland!)
Home of NZ Rugby and arguably one of the greatest rugby pitches in the world!!
Very lucky to get a personal tour around the park to see the ins and outs.
The tour tradition of ‘Carpark handball’ is born at Eden Park which resulted in one of our ‘highlights’ when the boys hit the car of Graham Henry…..the All Blacks chief coach!! (He laughed!)
Visit to ‘Kelly Tarlton’s Marine World which was pretty cool. They had a small snow tractor there on display in the ‘Artic Display’ so we decided to see how many players we could fit into it. Yes, we managed to get all 13 of us into an object meant to only hold 5.
Our first official game of the tour was changed into a 15 a side game which meant we had to borrow a couple of players from Waiteke College to make up numbers. These boys play hard and after their losses yesterday, they were out for revenge. They were missing some players yesterday from the 7’s comp (they have 30+ players in the squad!!) so they were quite literally bulked up and set out to equal up the score sheet. These boys were brilliant and showed the BMGS guys a few things in how to play the 15 a side game.
Unfortunately we werent able to replicate yesterdays success and we went down 5 tries to 4. We took away many lessons from this game which we need to work on but the lads should be proud of how they went.
Id like to thank Waiteke College and in particular their coaches Nonu and Dale for the generousity and hospitality. Our boys have made many so friends at this school and are so keen to catch up with them again in the future. Waiteke epitomises NZ rugby and they were marvelous hosts. Thanks again boys!!!!
Sorry about the quality of the pics. I only had my phone!
Went onto Auckland last night. It has a small town feel. Hardly anyone out and it was a Saturday night. Such a strange feeling. Got heaps of comments due to our tour shirts which was unusual as if the situation was reversed in Australia, we would probably pass unnoticed. Training day today.
Still unsure about our “bus”. It’s a converted pantec truck. Reminds me of a prison van or one of those things you see on safari!!
Kind of bleak. Auckland isn’t what I thought. We are out on the sticks but what we are seeing is not that exciting. People are nice though. Our bus is a shit heap!!
Presenting ‘Bessie’ the bus
Sorry about the lack of photos but Ill have to add them when I get back to each post as I dont have the right cables etc to do it! (plus the internet acces so far isnt the best)
Our tour company had organised a late 7’s tournament for us against Waiteke College’s Rugby Academy squad. Quite a good hit out for us which we won 6 games to nil. Our pre-season fitness had paid off!!
Thanks to Tom T’s family, we took Tom out to celebrate his 17th birthday in New Market
Boys quite chuffed at being’ 6 and 0′ in NZ!! (silly kiwi keyboard wont do a zero properly!)
Waiting to be picked up to go to the airport!