Auckland to MataMata

We started with a bit of drama as we had a fire alarm in the hotel in the morning while we were still sleeping. Bolt out of bed, a quick rush down 6 flights, grab a coffee from street vendor and climb 6 flights back up (elevators were busy with elderly and children)...Yes, we are awake now !

On our drive towards Matamata we stopped in for a walk at Karangahake Gorge - this is an old mine site with a 1 km long man-made tunnel that was used for moving the gold through this steep region.  We found a great example of the silver fern which has an important part in Maori legends and is also used by the Tourism Board as a symbol of quality assurance.

We ended the day at The ArtHouse Bed & Breakfast run by a lovely couple that were previously art gallery owners in Christchurch. The walls of the home are decorated with the artworks and books they have collected over the years.  Each room of the home was impeccable decorated and had all the amenities at hand.  Breakfast was delicious, healthy and plentiful. Would love to go back for a few days sometime.

In the late afternoon we headed over to Hobbiton... that deserves a post all its own...